FDA Proposes Ban on Formaldehyde in Hair Straighteners Over Health Dangers

FDA Recommends Prohibition of Formaldehyde in Hair Straighteners Due to Significant Health Risks

FDA wants to ban formaldehyde in hair straighteners due to health risks.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not messing around when it comes to formaldehyde in hair relaxers. They have proposed a ban on this chemical due to concerns about its link to respiratory problems and, wait for it, certain cancers! Can you believe it? And, get this, they’re not just politely suggesting we steer clear of these hair-straightening products; they want them out of the game entirely.

You might be wondering why the FDA is making such a fuss about hair relaxers, which are typically used by Black women. Well, recent research has shed light on the potential dangers of these chemical concoctions. And let me tell you, it’s not pretty.

“We know that these products are very poorly regulated by the federal government in terms of what goes in there,” said Kimberly Bertrand, an associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. She’s the lead author of a study that unveiled the hidden dangers of relaxers. Turns out, ingredients like phthalates and parabens, the endocrine disruptors lurking in these products, are not clearly labeled. Instead, you’ll find innocent-sounding terms like “fragrance” and “preservative.” Talk about misleading!

The Boston University’s Black Women’s Health Study, which has been tracking the well-being of 59,000 Black women since 1995, dropped a bombshell finding. Postmenopausal Black women who used chemical hair straighteners had a higher risk of developing uterine cancer. Yikes! I can already hear the collective gasp.

But wait, there’s more! The American Journal of Epidemiology published another study that revealed a not-so-pretty side effect of hair straighteners: lower fertility. That’s right, ladies. If you’ve been religiously straightening your locks, you might be putting your chances of becoming a parent at risk. And I’m not just blowing hot air here; this is backed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Oh, and did I mention the lawsuits? Yeah, a bunch of cosmetics companies, including big players like Revlon and L’Oréal, have faced legal battles over claims that their straightening products have caused uterine cancer, breast cancer, infertility, and a host of other health issues. It’s like a horror movie, but instead of a masked killer, it’s your hair products that are out to get you.

Now, let’s talk about formaldehyde itself. It’s a colorless, flammable, highly toxic gas. I mean, if that doesn’t sound like something you want anywhere near your hair or body, I don’t know what does. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even confirms that formaldehyde is used in various household products, including medicines and cosmetics. But the fun doesn’t stop there—formaldehyde is also linked to myeloid leukemia. Yep, this chemical is a real piece of work.

But fear not! The FDA has swooped in to save the day. They’re proposing the ban on formaldehyde in April, taking a brave step towards protecting our health and keeping our lovely locks intact.

Oh, and before I forget, if you want to dive deeper into the world of formaldehyde and its potential dangers, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has your back. Get ready for some riveting reading material!

So, my dear readers, let me leave you with a question: What’s the square footage of an average adult’s skin? Think you know the answer? Click here and let’s find out!

Stay safe, stay healthy, and remember to read those ingredient labels like a detective on a mission!

Source: NBC News