Home » FDA misses own deadline to propose ban on cancer-linked formaldehyde from hair relaxers

FDA misses own deadline to propose ban on cancer-linked formaldehyde from hair relaxers

by UNN Feed

A proposal to ban formaldehyde in hair-straightening products that was scheduled to take place in April has not been released by the Food and Drug Administration, disregarding the agency’s own deadline. 

The proposal had come after wide-ranging studies found an association between some of the ingredients in hair-smoothing and hair-straightening products, which are used mostly by Black women, and cancer. 

It is unclear why the FDA has not released its proposed ban. The agency has not responded to requests for comment by NBC News. 

In 2022, a decadeslong study by the National Institutes of Health of more than 33,000 Black women showed an increase in uterine cancer among those who regularly used hair relaxers. 

Several women who had uterine cancer or other severe illnesses joined class-action lawsuits against major beauty product manufacturers, including L’Oreal and Revlon. Thousands of women allege that the hair products’ ingredients caused them to develop uterine cancer or other severe health problems. 

Revlon did not comment on this article. Previously, Revlon told Reuters that the company does not “believe the science supports a link between chemical hair straighteners or relaxers and cancer.”

A L’Oreal spokesperson told NBC News on Wednesday it doesn’t have formaldehyde in its products and that it would welcome the FDA ban.

“Our highest priority is the health and wellbeing of all our consumers,” the company said in a statement. “Our products are subject to a rigorous scientific evaluation of their safety by experts who also ensure that we strictly follow all regulations in every market in which we operate.”

Formaldehyde is used in many household products, including some topical medicines and cosmetics such as some nail polishes, hair gels, baby shampoos and others. Not all chemical hair-straighteners include it, but many do include components that, once heated, can release formaldehyde. It is highly toxic and linked to certain…

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