About Harmful Chemicals in Hair Relaxers
Hair relaxers are made up of different chemicals, many of which are benign, but there are some that are incredibly toxic. Cosmetics companies have been found to include in their hair relaxer products: lye, formaldehyde, and phthalates. Specifically, DEHP, a phthalate, is classified by the EPA as a “probable human carcinogen” and is outlawed for use in consumer products in the European Union. California, the first state in the United States to take action against use of DEHP, requires specific labeling for products containing DEHP and notes that its use is associated with a risk of developing cancer. Why include this chemical if it is so dangerous? DEHP specifically has use in the plastics industry to ensure high flexibility. Here, cosmetics companies use DEHP as a gelling agent and for scent preservation. However, DEHP is typically not listed separately on the hair relaxer product label, but rather hidden within the ingredient name “fragrance.”
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If you think you’ve been damaged by the harmful chemical DEHP caused by negligence or wrongful acts, our mass tort attorneys can help by providing supportive and effective legal counseling.