US: Woman sues five manufacturers of chemical relaxers

Civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump and tort attorney Diandra Debrosse Zimmermann filed the lawsuit on behalf of 32-year-old Missouri resident Jenny Mitchell. The text of the complaint states that the cancer of the uterus from which Mrs. Mitchell suffered was ” directly and indirectly caused by its regular and prolonged exposure to phthalates and other endocrine disruptors found in hair straightening products sold by L’Oreal USAwhich manufactures the products Dark & ​​Lovelyand other companies such as Namaste Laboratories, Godrej Consumer Products and Dabur International.

According to the complaint, Ms Mitchell underwent a complete hysterectomy at Boone Hospital Center in Missouri on September 24, 2018, after being diagnosed with uterine cancer at the age of 28. She then had check-ups every three months for two years and still has to be followed up every six months.

In a press conference, Ms Mitchell explained that she started using chemical relaxers around the year 2000, when she was around 8 years old, “ like most young African American girls “. She continued to use these hair straightening products until March 2022. She claimed to have no family history of cancer or uterine cancer.

This complaint follows a study published last week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute indicating that the risk of developing uterine cancer before the age of 70 was 4% in women who frequently use chemical hair straightening products, compared to 1.6% in those who had not used any of these products in the past. course of the last 12 months. The study was conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences among 33,497 American women between the ages of 35 and 74, over a period of nearly 11 years.

Black women have long been victims of dangerous products aimed specifically at them “Ben Crump said in a statement. ” Black hair is beautiful, but black women have been told they have to use these products to be in tune with social norms. We will likely find that the tragic case of Ms. Mitchell is one of countless instances in which corporations have aggressively deceived black women to increase their profits. “.

The fact that these companies have specifically targeted black and Latina women for commercial gain and without considering the serious health risks that these hair straightening products can induce is serious harm that needs to be corrected. “, Pointed Diandra Debrosse Zimmermann. ” We have started this important legal fight to seek and obtain justice for these women and their families. “.

For her part, Kimberly Norman, Senior Director, Safety and Regulatory Toxicology of the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) (PCPC), the trade union representing cosmetics manufacturers in the United States, said that the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences had not established a causal link between specific ingredients in the hair products or with any other specific chemical.

In her complaint, Ms. Mitchell seeks compensation of a minimum of $75,000.

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