Last Updated on October 19, 2023 by The Health Master
Formaldehyde in Hair Products
This decision comes in light of mounting evidence linking these products to hormone-related cancers and potential long-term adverse health effects.
Fox Business recently reported on this development, highlighting the potential dangers associated with formaldehyde exposure.
The USFDA’s Proposal
In an official statement, the USFDA announced its intention to consider a ban on formaldehyde and other chemicals that release formaldehyde, such as methylene glycol, in hair straightening products.
These chemicals have been identified as human carcinogens, posing serious health risks to consumers.
The potential adverse effects range from short-term irritations of the eyes and throat to more chronic issues like headaches, asthma, and even an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer.
A comprehensive study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, involving over 33,500 women in the United States, yielded alarming results.
The research indicated that women who frequently use straightening products face over twice the risk of developing uterine cancer compared to those who do not use such products.
Additionally, these women may experience difficulties in conceiving.
Notably, approximately 60% of the participants who reported using straighteners in the previous year were self-identified Black women.
Disproportionate Impact on Black Women
In response to these findings, two US representatives, Ayanna Pressley from Massachusetts and Shontel Brown from Ohio, called upon the USFDA to investigate the products, emphasizing the potential disproportionate impact on Black women.
They highlighted the historical context, noting that chemical hair straighteners have been predominantly marketed to Black women, often as a means to conform to societal standards of beauty.
Political and Economic Implications
The representatives underscored the systemic racism and anti-Black hair sentiment that has led generations of Black women to resort to straightening their hair for social and economic advancement.
While manufacturers have reaped substantial profits from these products, recent revelations have unveiled potentially severe health consequences associated with their use.
Representative Pressley’s Applause
Representative Pressley commended the USFDA for taking a significant stride towards banning these harmful chemicals by April 2024.
She emphasized that this proposal is a crucial win for public health, particularly for Black women who have been disproportionately exposed to the risks of these products due to systemic biases and discriminatory hair standards.
USFDA’s Guidance to Consumers
The USFDA consistently urges consumers to exercise caution and read the labels of hair products before making a purchase.
Specifically, products containing formaldehyde or related ingredients, such as formalin or methylene glycol, should be avoided.
The agency emphasizes that products are legally required to list their ingredients, and if this information is missing, consumers should refrain from buying the product.
Disclaimer: This article contains information derived from the source mentioned below. Our team utilized an AI language model to rewrite and present the news or article in a unique format.
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