n Friday, an American woman filed a civil lawsuit against L’Oreal USA after she contracted uterine cancer following prolonged use of hair straightening or relaxing products sold by the brand, her lawyer disclosed.
The suit was filed in Illinois Federal Court and alleges that the woman’s cancer diagnosis “was directly and proximately caused by her regular and prolonged exposure to phthalates and other endocrine disrupting chemicals” found in L’Oreal products. High-profile civil rights attorney Ben Crump brought the charges against the brand on behalf of his client, Jenny Mitchell. In the civil suit, Mitchell said that she had used the hair products for more than two decades before she was diagnosed with uterine cancer and subsequently forced to undergo a full hysterectomy.
We have filed a lawsuit on behalf of Jenny Mitchell — a woman diagnosed with uterine cancer after using L’Oreal’s dangerous products. Ms. Mitchell’s case is likely 1 of COUNTLESS cases in which companies aggressively misled Black women to increase profits. We need accountability! pic.twitter.com/z26i40tKPu— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) October 24, 2022
This charge comes on the heels of a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and funded by the National Institutes of Health which suggested that “frequent users of chemical hair-straightening products may be more likely to develop uterine cancer than those who didn’t use those products.”
Following the filing, Mitchell spoke with Good Morning America and expressed regret over not being able to have a baby. “Not being able to carry my own children has been the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to deal with,” she said. “This is a dream of mine that I’ve always wanted.”
While cases of uterine cancer are rare, it has seen a significant spike in the United States, especially among Black women, according to the National Institute of Health. As a result of this, Mitchell and her attorney hope to educate young Black girls about the dangers of these products. “At the end of the day, what we’re hoping to do is use this platform not just for this litigation, but more importantly if you’re out there and have little Black girls, stop today using these chemical relaxers,” Crump said.
As of this writing, L’Oreal USA has not given a statement on the matter.
Featured image: @lorealusa/Instagram
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