WebMD - Products for Black Women May Disrupt Hormones

May 16, 2018

By: Robert Preidt

Excerpt: "Many black women use a plethora of hair care products that contain chemicals that can interfere with their hormones, researchers warn.

They noted these chemicals could be a reason why black women have higher rates of certain hormone-related health conditions than other women in the United States.

For example, black women begin puberty at younger ages, and they have higher rates of hormone-linked problems such as preterm birth, uterine fibroids and infertility than other groups of women. Their rates of breast cancer and endometrial cancer are also on the rise, according to the scientists at Silent Spring Institute in Newton, Mass.

"Chemicals in hair products, and beauty products in general, are mostly untested and largely unregulated," said study author Jessica Helm.

"This study is a first step toward uncovering what harmful substances are in products frequently used by black women, so we can better understand what's driving some of the health issues they're facing," she added in an institute news release.

Helm and her colleagues analyzed 18 different hair products used by black women, including hot oil treatments, anti-frizz hair polishes, leave-in conditioners, root stimulators, hair lotions and hair relaxers.

A total of 45 endocrine disruptors were detected in the products, with each product containing between six and 30 of the chemicals. In past studies these endocrine disruptors have been associated with a variety of ills such as asthma, reproductive disorders, birth defects and cancer, the researchers said."