A Damning Conclusion ? Are Hair Dyes Safe ? Is there a Link between Hair Dyes & Cancer?
Reading the scientific Opinions below, it may seem that the chemical hair dye industry is nothing but a giant and greedy monster that is out to make money whatever the cost to human life and health.
In the late 1990’s there was real concern about the link between hair dyes and cancer.
2004 : An Opinion of the European Committee on Consumer Products stated “The study shows an increased risk of bladder cancer among women who made regular use of permanent hair dyes over many years…..the risk is positively correlated to the number of years of usage and frequency of application…..the study confirms the results of earlier occupational health studies in hairdressers and barbers……the SCCNFP concludes that the potential risk for the development of bladder cancer in past users of permanent hair dyes is of concern.”
2005 : Opinion on Personal Use of Hair Dyes & Cancer Risk, Adopted by European Scientific Committeee on Consumer Products
1. SCCP has reviewed and assed if use of hair dyes represent a cancer risk. It was decided that the assessment should concentrate on leukaemia and bladder cancer since no evidence was found linking personal use of hair dyes to a cancer risk at other sites.
• Although the published data are conflicting, especially, when all types of hair dyes is considered, it is concluded that some studies indicate excess risks for acute leukaemia and chronic lymphoid leukaemia for users of hair dyes.
• It is concluded that there is an indication of excess risk of bladder cancer for women in USA using permanent hair dyes frequently and for long time.
2. SCCP does not recommend any other requirements for assessing hair dyes than already recommended in its opinion “Assessment Strategies for Hair Dyes” (SCCNFP/0553/02,
Opinion of the SCCNFP adopted during the 22nd plenary meeting of 17 December 2002).”
As a matter of interest, and to enable you to carry out a more balanced judgement exercise do please also take a look at the 2004 updated findings of the European Commission on the link between hair dyes and bladder cancer.
In 2010, the European Commission Directorate General for Health and Consumers states there’s no proven risk between hair dyes and cancer and it is not possible to assess carcinogenic risk of hair dyes.
2010 – 2012 : Health & Environment Network Brussels : Bladder Cancer Review of Environmental Risk Factors results:
“Other studies show that hairdressers and barbers with occupational exposure to hair dyes experience enhanced risk of bladder cancer. For example, a study related to personal use of hair dyes demonstrates an elevated bladder cancer risk for people who used permanent hair dyes at least once a month, for one year or longer.”
Look at what Cancer Research UK says about the safety of hair dyes.
On the face of it, there is now what can best be labelled “cause for concern” as far as cancer goes. As to whether hair dyes are proven carcinogens is a matter for the scientists ultimately. Current mainstream SCCS (European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety) opinion state there is no major risk. I disagree. But that’s just my personal opinion. I don’t like hair dyes for many reasons; PPD in hair dyes is one reason.
The debate will no doubt continue; it’s up to you to decide if you trust conventional chemical hair dyes.