Black women’s hair and chemicals nothing to relax about
12/7/2023, 6 p.m.
In case you have missed this, a major lawsuit is underway to benefit Black women who used chemical hair relaxers and later developed uterine and ovarian cancer.
Well-known Attorney Ben Crump apparently launched what has become a significant product liability case a year ago on behalf of Jenny Mitchell with claims that L’Oreal, Revlon and other global manufacturers of such products included dangerous chemicals that led to her cancer.
The case has been certified as a class action and has already drawn more than 8,000 plaintiffs from across the country, with more to come.
Anyone checking online can find numerous firms eager to sign up women who used relaxers and have been diagnosed with cancer.
One of the attorneys involved, Lee Floyd, is a partner in the Richmond-based Breit Binazian law firm.
The case is based on the failure of the makers of the products to warn that they could be hazardous and to state that on the packaging.
The National Institutes of Health first found an indication that Black women who used relaxers had a higher incidence of such cancers.
This fall, researchers at Boston University bolstered the case by releasing a new study that found that the long-term use of chemicals by post-menopausal Black women “was associated with increased risk of uterine cancer.”
The BU findings are based on an analysis of 22 years of health reports for 45,000 women. Among other things, the study looked at the use of hair relaxers and diagnoses of cancer and found that Black women who used the relaxers had a substantially higher risk of developing uterine and ovarian cancer.
Let’s be clear, this does not amount to a cause-and-effect finding, just a correlation. And it also is true that many women have used relaxers for years, if not decades, and suffered no ill effects.
Still, if you or someone you know has been impacted, please help yourself or your friend or relative learn more and sign up to be a plaintiff in the lawsuit.