Chemical hair straighteners increase the risk of uterine cancer

News Release

Monday, October 17, 2022

The NIH research means that black girls could also be extra more likely to be affected by greater use.

> According to a brand new research from the National Institutes of Health, girls who used chemical hair straighteners had a better risk of creating uterine cancer than girls who didn’t use the merchandise. The researchers discovered that different hair merchandise utilized by girls, together with hair dyes, bleaches, highlights or perms, weren’t related to uterine cancer.

The research information included 33,497 American girls aged 35-74 who participated in the Sisters Study of Breast Cancer and Other Health Conditions, led by the National Institute of Environmental Sciences (NIEHS), half of the NIH. The girls had been adopted for nearly 11 years and through this time 378 instances of uterine cancer had been recognized.

Researchers discovered that girls who reported frequent use of hair straighteners, outlined as greater than 4 instances in the previous 12 months, had been twice as more likely to develop uterine cancer than those that didn’t use them.

“We estimated that 1.64% of girls who by no means use hair straighteners will develop uterine cancer by age 70; however for frequent customers, the risk goes as much as 4.05%,” mentioned Alexandra White, Ph.D., head of the NIEHS Environment and Cancer Epidemiology Group and lead creator of the new research. “This double determine is troubling. But It is necessary to place this data into context – uterine cancer is a comparatively uncommon kind of cancer.”

Cervical cancer accounts for roughly 3% of all new cancer instances, however is the most typical cancer of the feminine reproductive system, with 65,950 new instances in 2022. Research reveals that the quantity of instances of uterine cancer in the United States, particularly Black girls.

According to a research revealed in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, roughly 60% of individuals who used straightening merchandise in the previous 12 months recognized themselves as black girls. Although the research didn’t discover that the affiliation between straightening use and uterine cancer differed by race, the adverse well being results amongst black girls could also be better attributable to the prevalence of use.

“Because black girls use hair straighteners or relaxers extra ceaselessly and begin utilizing them at an earlier age than different races and ethnicities, these findings could also be extra related to them,” says creator Che-Jung Chang, Ph.D. new analysis and analysis fellow in the NIEHS Epidemiology Branch.

The findings are in step with earlier analysis displaying that straightening merchandise increase the risk of hormone-related cancers in girls.

The researchers didn’t gather information on the manufacturers or substances of the hair merchandise utilized by the girls. However, in the paper they word that a number of chemical substances present in straightening merchandise (reminiscent of parabens, bisphenol A, metals, and formaldehyde) might contribute to the elevated risk of uterine cancer noticed. Chemical publicity from utilizing hair merchandise, particularly straighteners, might be extra harmful than different private care merchandise attributable to elevated absorption into the scalp.

“To our information, that is the first epidemiologic research to look at the White relationship between straightener use and uterine cancer,” he mentioned. “More analysis is required to verify these findings in numerous populations, to determine well being disparities in hair merchandise related to uterine cancer, and to determine particular chemical substances that increase girls’s cancer risk.”

The group beforehand discovered that everlasting hair dyes and straighteners might increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Grant numbers: Z01-ES044005, Z1AES103332-01

About the National Institute of Environmental Sciences (NIEHS): NIEHS helps analysis to know the results of the atmosphere on human well being and is a component of the National Institutes of Health. For extra data on NIEHS or environmental well being matters, go to or join the e-newsletter.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH):NIH, the nation’s medical analysis company, contains 27 institutes and facilities and is a component of the US Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the major federal company that conducts and helps primary, scientific, and translational medical analysis and investigates the causes, therapies, and cures of frequent and uncommon ailments. For extra details about NIH and its packages, go to

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Che-Jung Chang, Kathy M. O’Brien, Alexander P. Keel, Simiel A. Gaston, Chandra L. Jackson, Dale P. Sandler, Alexandra J. White. Use of straighteners and different hair merchandise and uterine cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute DOI: (2022).



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