The FDA is proposing a ban on hair-straightening and smoothing products that contain cancer-causing chemicals.

The FDA is proposing a ban on hair-straightening and smoothing products that contain cancer-causing chemicals.

A proposed regulation put forth by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration might lead to the prohibition of certain chemical hair-smoothing and straightening products that have been associated with cancer risks.

The FDA has introduced a regulation aiming to prohibit the use of formaldehyde and other formaldehyde-releasing chemicals in hair-smoothing and straightening products available for sale in the United States.

The application of these chemicals has been connected to persistent health issues, such as an elevated cancer risk, as indicated by the FDA. The agency also asserts that these substances can result in immediate health hazards, such as sensitization reactions and respiratory difficulties.

on hair-straightening and smoothing products
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In 2019, a study published in the International Journal of Cancer established a connection between the use of hair dye and chemical straighteners and an increased risk of breast cancer in women in the United States.

This association was reinforced in 2022 when the National Institutes of Health published a study. It revealed that women who used hair-straightening chemicals were at a heightened risk of uterine cancer, and it suggested that Black women might be disproportionately affected due to their more frequent use of these products.

In March 2023, Congressional pressure was applied to investigate the potential link between chemical hair straighteners and cancer. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts) and Rep. Shontel Brown (D-Ohio) co-authored a letter addressed to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, requesting that the agency launch an inquiry into this matter.

The letter emphasized the necessity for the FDA to investigate the potential health risks associated with chemical hair straightening products. It underlined the importance of assuring consumers that the cosmetic products they use are not endangering their health. The letter further stressed the urgency for the agency to promptly address these valid concerns.

Subsequently, after the FDA proposed a new rule, Rep. Pressley described it as a victory for public health, particularly benefiting the health of Black women who are disproportionately exposed to these products due to systemic racism and negative biases against Black hair.

 

 

 

 

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