New Study Finds Presence of Chemicals in Black Hair Care Products Increases Breast Cancer Risk | New


Black hair care has become a multi-billion dollar business and many products rely on chemical formulas to make them work, but a new study finds a toxic hair chemical in hair products for black women can increase the risk of breast cancer.

According to a study by Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, parabens, which are a group of chemicals that prevent mold and bacteria from growing on beauty products, can trigger the growth of breast cancer cells.

The study reported that while over 90% of people in the United States have parabens in their bodies, higher concentrations were found in women and black Americans. Additionally, hair products marketed and used in black communities are more likely to contain parabens.

“One of the reasons for the higher risk of breast cancer may be exposure to harmful chemicals called endocrine disruptors in hair and personal care products. These chemicals mimic the effects of hormones on the body,” Lindsey S. Trevinolead researcher of the study, said in a press release.

A survey that looked for paraben-free hair care products showed that fewer of these products are marketed to African American women. However, Treviño also suggested that more research is needed.

“Black women are more likely to buy and use hair products that contain these types of chemicals, but we don’t have a lot of data on how parabens may increase breast cancer risk in women. black”, Trevino continued. “This is because black women have not been chosen to participate in most research studies investigating this link. Also, studies to test this link have only used breast cancer cell lines. breast of white women.”

RELATED: I am a survivor: breast cancer stories

The study was conducted in partnership with Bench to Community Initiative (BCI), which works with scientists, community members and breast cancer patients to reduce exposures to hazardous chemicals in hair and products. personal care products used by black women.

The Boston University Black Women’s Health Study follows 59,000 participants who enrolled in 1995 and did not see a link between moderate use of relaxers and a higher risk of breast cancer. However, the study indicated that “heavy use of relaxers containing lye” may be associated with a more aggressive form of breast cancer.

According to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, black women have a 41% higher breast cancer death rate.


To learn more about breast cancer, self-advocacy and the different types of treatment available, visit Susan G. Komen website.


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