The Root recently reported on a new study from the National Institutes of Health that found a link between frequent use of chemical hair straighteners and a higher risk of uterine cancer. Now customers are beginning to take action to hold companies accountable for their health.
According to Houston’s NBC affiliate KPRC, a California woman is suing cosmetics giant L’Oreal for health issues she claims were caused by the use of their hair products.
With the help of Houston attorney Larry Taylor of The Cochran Firm, Rugieyatu Bhonopha filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of California alleging that exposure to chemicals found in various L’Oreal products, including Just for Me, Dark & Lovely, Olive Oil Relaxer and Organic Root Stimulator, had a direct impact on her fibroids diagnosis.
Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow within the uterine wall. Although they are almost always non-cancerous, women who live with fibroids often experience painful symptoms, including heavy bleeding and painful cramping that can make it difficult to manage their daily routines.
But this isn’t the only lawsuit filed against the company. In October, L’Oreal was named in a suit filed in Illinois by civil rights attorney Ben Crump on behalf of Jenny Mitchell, claiming her uterine cancer “was directly and proximately caused by her regular and prolonged exposure to phthalates and other endocrine disrupting chemicals found in Defendants’ hair care products.”
KPRC Houston received the following statement from L’Oreal:
“Our highest priority is the health, wellness and safety of all our consumers. We are confident in the safety of our products and believe the recent lawsuits filed against us have no legal merit. L’Oréal upholds the highest standards of safety for all its products. Our products are subject to a rigorous scientific evaluation of their safety by experts who also ensure that we follow strictly all regulations in every market in which we operate.”
According to Bhonopha’s lawyer, the suit has merit: “Countless members of the Black and Hispanic community have been exposed to dangerous and potentially deadly chemicals,” Taylor said. “We intend to hold the manufacturers accountable.”