In a significant move to protect public health, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced intentions to ban hair-straightening products containing or releasing formaldehyde. This decision, made over a decade after the cosmetic industry’s experts recognized the dangers of such products, aims to mitigate the health risks associated with the harmful chemicals.
It’s been discovered that prolonged use of these chemical hair straighteners can potentially elevate the risk of endometrial cancer, commonly referred to as cancer of the uterus. The threat is quite pronounced, with women who use these products facing a risk that’s more than double compared to those who don’t. Furthermore, some research points to a connection between these hair products and other cancers, such as breast and ovarian cancer. The implications of formaldehyde are so severe that FDA scientists identified it as a human carcinogen several years ago.
Professional workers like embalmers who encounter high formaldehyde levels display higher occurrences of specific cancers, including myeloid leukemia. The short-term effects of exposure include symptoms like eye and throat irritation, coughing, and chest pain. Over time, individuals may suffer from persistent headaches, asthma, skin problems, and allergies. Alarmingly, these hair-straightening products target mainly Black women. Notably, uterine cancer rates have surged among all women recently, but the rise is most significant among women of color.
Slated for April 2024, the FDA’s proposed regulation intends to prohibit formaldehyde and similar chemicals in hair products marketed in the U.S. Some hair treatments, which advertise as being formaldehyde-free, contain methylene glycol. This chemical becomes formaldehyde gas upon exposure to air. Despite having the power to ban harmful ingredients, the FDA only recently started to regulate the industry more closely. And although new products won’t routinely undergo FDA review before entering the market, they now have stringent regulations to adhere to.
The debate surrounding formaldehyde in hair products isn’t new. Advocacy groups, like the Environmental Working Group, have long been petitioning the FDA to impose bans. Despite starting the drafting process for a ban in 2016, there was an unexplained hiatus until the current initiative.
Legal Recourse for Affected Consumers
People harmed by products containing hazardous chemicals like formaldehyde may have legal grounds to pursue compensation. Victims can file a product liability lawsuit against manufacturers if they believe a product’s adverse health effects were undisclosed or downplayed. The process begins by filing a claim, which can seek compensation for medical costs, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and other related damages.
Navigating the intricate claims procedures requires the expertise of a seasoned product liability attorney. Our legal professionals can provide you with invaluable guidance, from collating evidence and building a robust case to negotiating settlements and arguing in court. We can make the difference between a successful claim and a lost cause, especially given the complexities surrounding product liability suits.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
Don’t allow corporate negligence to compromise your health. If you or a loved one have been negatively impacted by hair products containing harmful substances, take action now. Parker Waichman LLP is here to help you navigate the legal landscape and ensure that justice is served. Don’t wait; call today for expert guidance and to defend your rights.
Parker Waichman LLP, a leading national product injury law firm, aids victims of such injuries. If you believe that you’ve suffered due to harmful hair products or any other dangerous product, you’re encouraged to reach out to them for a complimentary consultation at 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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