Lawsuits are piling up against the beauty brand L’Oreal USA Inc. and other makers of hair straightening products. The lawsuits are a result of a study published to the National Institute of Health linking chemicals used in the products to an increased risk of uterine cancer.
The suits, which claim the products caused cancer or other health problems, seek damages to compensate the women for their pain and suffering. They also seek to compensate for the economic damages of medical bills and the cost of the products, among other things as reported by Reuters.
At least nine lawsuits have already been filed.
The NIH study, released on Oct. 17, found that women who reported frequent use of hair straightening products, defined as more than four times in the previous year, were more than twice as likely to go on to develop uterine cancer compared to those who did not use the products.
The research followed 33,497 U.S. women ages 35-74 over the course of 11 years. During that time 378 uterine cancer cases were diagnosed. Researchers also noted that Black women generally use chemical hair straightening products more than white women, putting them at an overall higher risk.
The data does not conclude that hair straightening products directly cause cancer, rather that there’s an association. Eight of the recent lawsuits site the study’s finding.
In a statement posted online after the first lawsuits were filed, L’Oreal stated “We are confident in the safety of our products and believe the recent lawsuits filed against us have no legal merit.”