FDA Warns African-American Woman About the Dangers of Formaldehyde and Methylene Glycol Contained in Certain Hair-Straightening Products.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advocating for a major shift in hair care product regulations. With growing concern over formaldehyde and related compounds in hair-straightening products, a proposed ban is on the horizon. This move, projected to be effective by April 2024, is grounded in significant health risks. In light of recent findings, the public deserves an in-depth understanding of the situation and the potential implications it might have on them.
According to an official government document, the FDA has expressed concerns over “long-term adverse health effects” related to formaldehyde and chemicals like methylene glycol. This push is not entirely surprising given the inordinate amount of hair products targeted at Black women that contain these potentially harmful compounds. Research from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows that a staggering 50% of hair products intended for African-American women include these toxic substances. The disparity is troubling and has been highlighted by representatives like Ayanna Pressley and Shontel Brown, who’ve appealed for a rigorous probe into the increased risk of uterine cancer due to these products.
Formaldehyde’s potential harm isn’t a newfound revelation. Organizations like the Environmental Working Group have consistently petitioned the FDA, emphasizing the need for bans to safeguard both professional stylists and their clientele. Concerns have intensified since the early 2000s when the FDA began receiving a significant number of inquiries about the safety of these hair-straightening agents.
As elucidated by Pressley, “The FDA’s proposal to ban these harmful chemicals in hair straighteners and relaxers is a win for public health.” The spotlight on the health of Black women, who have faced disproportionate risks due to systemic racism and bias against natural Black hair, is especially crucial. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which has deemed formaldehyde as “carcinogenic to humans,” highlights the chemical’s association with multiple cancers, especially those affecting women.
The situation becomes even more pressing when considering studies by esteemed bodies. For instance, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences revealed that the risk of uterine cancer nearly triples for frequent users of chemical hair straighteners. Moreover, the threats extend to ovarian and breast cancer, with Black women experiencing heightened risks due to the prevalence of chemical hair-straightener usage within the community.
However, victims aren’t without recourse.
Pursuing Legal Redress for Product Liability
Individuals who believe they have been adversely affected by products containing formaldehyde have legal avenues to explore. A product liability lawsuit can be filed by victims seeking damages for the harm suffered due to these dangerous products.
Potential damages in such lawsuits might include medical expenses, both past and future, associated with treating cancer or other illnesses linked to formaldehyde exposure. Plaintiffs could also claim compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and in cases where the victim has passed away, their family could potentially seek damages for wrongful death. Additionally, if the defendant company knew of the risks and did not adequately warn the public, punitive damages might be awarded as a form of punishment and a deterrent for other companies.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
If you or a loved one have suffered due to the potentially harmful effects of hair-straightening products containing formaldehyde, the national product injury law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, is here to champion your cause. You deserve justice, and with a legacy of advocating for victims of harmful products, Parker Waichman is well-equipped to guide you. Don’t wait. Call 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) for a free consultation today. Stand up, be heard, and ensure that companies are held accountable for their actions.
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