Chemical hair straighteners, according to a lawsuit filed against L’Oreal and four other cosmetic companies, can cause uterine cancer.

A St. Louis woman filed a federal lawsuit in Chicago on Monday against five cosmetic companies, alleging that their hair straightening products cause uterine cancer.

Jenny Mitchell filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging that she was exposed to phthalates and endocrine disrupting chemicals in hair care products from L’Oreal USA Inc. and L’Oreal USA Products Inc., Strength of Nature Global LLC, Soft Sheen Carson (W.I.) Inc., Dabur International Ltd. and Dabur USA Inc., and Namaste Laboratories, which led to her uterine cancer diagnosis.

According to the lawsuit, endocrine disrupting chemicals commonly found in hair straightening products, specifically the highly toxic manufactured chemical known as DI-2-Ethylhexylphthalate, or DEHP, can cause uterine cancer.

Attorneys in the lawsuit cite a recent study published by the National Institute of Health that found women who used chemical straighteners had a higher risk of uterine cancer.

Over the course of a decade, 378 of the 33,000-plus women who took part in the study developed uterine cancer, with those who reported using chemical hair relaxers being more than twice as likely as those who did not.

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