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Pledge to Educate, Validate, and Litigate the Link Between Hair Relaxers and Cancer

WHEREAS, on October 17, 2022, the National Institutes of Health announced that its study, the "Sister Study", found that women who used chemical hair straightening products were at higher risk for uterine cancer, with an author of the study noting: "Because Black women use hair straightening or relaxer products more frequently and tend to initiate use at earlier ages than other races and ethnicities, these findings may be even more relevant for them."; and

WHEREAS, historically, Black women in the United States have experienced great social pressure to adopt Eurocentric standards of straight hair; and

WHEREAS, Depending on the year of the survey and prevalent hairstyles, up to 80 percent of Black American women have reported using a chemical hair straightening product also known as a "relaxer", "perm", or "permanent"; and

WHEREAS, On October 24, 2022, the first lawsuit was filed in which a plaintiff claimed that her uterine cancer was directly and proximately caused by her regular and prolonged exposure to chemicals found in a defendants' hair care products, with numerous similar lawsuits being filed.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NAACP will vigorously seek to educate its members, especially Black women members, Black women in general, and all people of color about the higher risk for uterine cancer associated with use of chemical hair straightening product, and encourage and support further and greater research of the harmful effects of such products.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NAACP will, when appropriate, file or join litigation, which seeks to support and protect those harmed by these products.