Overexposed and Underprotected

Measurement of Endocrine Disrupting and Asthma-Associated Chemicals in Hair Products Used by Black Women

Black women spend upwards of 7.5 billion dollars on beauty products every year, spending nine times more on ethnic-targeted hair products than the average consumer. As the beauty industry grows in inclusiveness and diversity, more brands are creating products for Black women such as makeup lines and products for naturally curly hair. However, the chemicals in these and other personal care products are not adequately tested for safety and are largely unregulated, raising health concerns.

Black women suffer more from hormone-related health problems including uterine fibroids, infertility, pre-term birth, early puberty, and increasing rates of breast and endometrial cancers. Black women also have higher levels of personal care product chemicals in their bodies.

This is the first study to measure concentrations of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in hair products used by Black women. Researchers tested the presence of 66 chemicals in 18 hair products (anti-frizz, root stimulator, hair lotion, hair relaxer, hot oil treatment, and leave-in conditioner).

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