Class action lawsuit against manufacturers of hair straightening products

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Class action request against manufacturers of hair straightening products

Shamara Hutchinson (left) and Elle Wayara are the two lead plaintiffs in a possible class action lawsuit against makers of hair straightening products that have been linked to certain cancers and reproductive issues.

A collective class action lawsuit targets manufacturers of hair straightening products, including L'Oréal, because some of these products cause serious health problems, according to two British Columbian plaintiffs.

The two women are asking the provincial trial court to certify the class action on these products intended primarily for black women.

Shamara Hutchinson and Elle Wayara accuse these straightening products of being the cause of several serious health problems, such as certain cancers, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or infertility , among others.

Shamara Hutchinson was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was just 15 years old.

Twelve years later, she learned that the type of cancer she had could be linked to certain chemicals in hair relaxers and straighteners that she used regularly for years before her diagnosis.

British Columbians hope class action will force manufacturers to warn customers of these dangers.

The notice of lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia earlier this month and alleges that these products are unsafe, defective and unfit for use.

None of these allegations have been proven in court.

The affected manufacturers have not yet filed response to the request and did not respond to CBC's requests for comment.

Similar complaints have been filed in some US states, including California and Illinois, but it would be the first in Canada.

With information from Bethany Lindsay

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