Hair care products mainly used by black women and girls have been linked to hormone and asthma-related illnesses and even cancer, according to a recent study. If this doesn’t sound bad enough, the study also found that majority of the harmful chemicals were not mentioned on the products’ ingredient labels.
The study, which was conducted by the Newton-based Silent Springs Institute, included 18 commonly used products like relaxers, shampoo, conditioner, root stimulators, leave-in conditioner, and anti-frizz products. They found a total of 66 toxic chemicals that have been linked to certain cancers and pre-term birth.
“Researchers say black hair care products are largely untested and unregulated, where 84 percent of the harmful chemicals detected in this study weren’t even on the label,” Fox 25 reports. “Parabens and the fragrance diethyl phthalate, or DEP, that can be found in these popular products are linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, early puberty and preterm birth.”
Sources says these chemicals can also be absorbed by our bodies via skin or inhalation, and women are more susceptible during puberty and pregnancy.
According to Scientific American, “Black women are more likely than white or Hispanic women to suffer from hormonal diseases that are exacerbated by substances that disrupt hormonal balance. A 2016 study showed black women in the U.S. have higher concentrations of such chemicals in their bodies than do women from other ethnicities.”
In response to the study, researchers are now calling for more regulations within the beauty industry. Roommates, you can read the full study here.
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