NIH: Chemical Hair Straighteners Associated With Higher Risk of Uterine Cancer for Black Women

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This undated microscope photo made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the results of a Papanicolaou test, or Pap test, with a positive indication for the presence of uterine cervical adenocarcinoma, classified as Stage-III. According to a study published in the journal JAMA Oncology on Thursday, May 5, 2022, researchers found that overall uterine cancer death rates in the U.S., increased by 1.8% per year from 2010 to 2017. (CDC via AP)
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The National Institutes for Health released startling information Monday after their study found hair straightening chemicals are associated with a higher risk of uterine cancer. Black women may be more affected due to higher use.

The researchers found no associations with uterine cancer for other hair products that the women in the study reported using, including hair dyes, bleach, highlights, or perms. Several chemicals that have been found in straighteners, like parabens, bisphenol A, metals, and formaldehyde, could be contributing to the increased uterine cancer risk observed, according to the study.

Chemical exposure from hair product use, especially straighteners, could be more concerning than other personal care products because of increased absorption through the scalp, which may be exacerbated by burns and lesions that are caused by straighteners.


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