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Does Hair Dye Cause Bladder Cancer

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Hair Dye And Cancer Risk: Largest Study Yet

Does dyeing your hair cause cancer? New study finds possible link

Hair dyes contain certain chemicals that have been held responsible for these relationships. In the largest study to date, which followed 117,200 women from the USA over 36 years, this could not be confirmed.

Studies have indicated that people who dye their hair regularly may have a higher risk of cancer, especially bladder cancer and breast cancer.

Hair dyes contain certain chemicals that have been held responsible for these relationships.

In the largest study to date, which followed 117,200 women from the USA over 36 years, this could not be confirmed.

A research team led by Eva Schernhammer, Head of the Department of Epidemiology at the Medical University of Vienna, showed in a specific analysis of the data from a cohort study of American nurses that regular hair colouring had no significant effect on most types of cancer – with a few exceptions.

This study was published in the British Medical Journal.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer , part of the World Health Organization , has classified occupational exposure to hair dyes as a probable human carcinogen, while personal use of hair dyes could not be classified.

However, as current epidemiological evidence is far from conclusive, there is concern about the carcinogenic potential of personal use of permanent hair dye, especially those that are particularly aggressive and most commonly used.

Current findings are limited to US white women and may not extend to other populations.

Can Hair Dyes Cause Cancer

There is over 33 percent of women over the age of 18, and 10 percent of men who are over the age of 40 are known to use hair dye frequently. Due to this high statistic, it is important to understand whether hair dye can cause cancer or not.

The research studies that have been done so far have been contradictory and inconclusive. However, the available research to date shows that it is unlikely that using hair dyes significantly increases the risk of getting cancer.

In 2010, the International Agency for Research on Cancer came to the conclusion that there was not sufficient amount of evidence to prove whether or not the personal use of hair dyes increases the likelihood of developing cancer.

Since 2010, there has been more research that has been done, and things have gotten a little clearer.

Hair dyes were once known to contain chemicals that were known for being carcinogenic on animals. Between 1980 and 1982, though, all the hair dyes were reformulated to take out these carcinogenic chemicals. The fact is that the more exposure you get to a carcinogen, the higher is the likelihood of developing cancer.

There are some factors that are related to the amount of exposure you have to the chemicals contained in hair dye. These include:

Recent research has also hinted at the fact that genetics might also be a factor that affects your risk of developing cancer-related to using hair dye.

Does Hair Dye Cause Breast Cancer Top 10 Concerning Chemicals In Hair Dye

According to researchers from the National Institute of Environmental Health Services, many hair products contain endocrine-disrupting compounds and carcinogens potentially relevant to breast cancer.

There are three types of hair dyes:

  • Temporary dyes that only cover the surface of your hair, but dont penetrate the hair shaft
  • Semi-permanent dyes that do penetrate the hair shaft, but wash out after five to 10 washings
  • Permanent hair dyes that cause long-lasting chemical changes in the hair shaft

According to the American Cancer Society, permanent hair dyes contain colorless substances, including aromatic amines and phenols, that become dyes in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. A chemical reaction occurs, allowing the substance to permanently dye your hair until it grows out.

Environmental Working Group provides the following health risks of common hair dye ingredients:

  • Ammonia: Respiratory irritant and potential endocrine disruptor
  • Hydrogen peroxide: Respiratory and skin irritant may burn skin, damage eyes and cause allergic reaction
  • P-phenylenediamine: Potential carcinogen that causes organ system and blood toxicity may cause allergies and immunotoxicity causes occupational hazards
  • Resorcinol: Potential endocrine disruptor and carcinogen that may cause allergies and immunotoxicity contributes to occupational hazards, and may cause skin, eyes and lung irritation
  • Toluene-2,5-diamine sulfate: Potential carcinogen and immunotoxic agent
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    Response To Does Hair Dye Use Really Increase The Risk Of Prostate Cancer

    Shu-Yu Tai26, Hui-Min Hsieh6, 7, Shu-Pin Huang8, 9, Ming-Tsang Wu57, 10

    2Graduate Institute of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

    3Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

    4Department of Family Medicine, Kaohsiung Municipal Ta-Tung Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

    5Department of Family Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

    6Research Center for Environmental Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

    7Department of Public Health, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

    8Department of Urology, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

    9Department of Urology, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

    10Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

    Patient And Public Involvement

    Can Hair Dye Cause Cancer?

    Participants were not involved in setting the research question or the outcome measures, nor were they involved in the design or implementation of the study. No participants were asked to advise on interpretation or writing up of the manuscript. The participants are updated on findings and developments of the Nurses Health Study cohort through annual newsletters and the official website .

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    Are Hair Dyes Regulated

    In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration regulates the safety of cosmetics, including hair dyes, but there are limits on what the FDA can do. The FDA does not approve each ingredient used in hair dyes before it goes on the market, and in general the responsibility for the safety of products and ingredients falls to the manufacturers.

    The FDA can take action if any cosmetics are found to be harmful or in violation of the law . This includes any new ingredients to be used in hair dyes. However, many of the older ingredients in hair dyes were excluded when the FDA was initially given the power to regulate these products back in the 1930s.

    If cosmetics or their ingredients are found to be unsafe, the FDA can request that the company recall the product, although it cant require a recall. The FDA can, however, take further steps if needed, such as getting a federal court order to stop sales, requesting that US marshals seize the product, or initiating criminal action.

    Can Hair Dye Cause Cancer

    What is the latest on the question of whether or not hair dye can cause cancer? I heard that this is a greater risk for African-American women. True?

    Andrew Weil, M.D. | December 11, 2019

    The latest study on this subject, from researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences , showed a 60 percent increased risk of breast cancer among African American women who used permanent hair dyes every five to eight weeks or more, compared to their non-dying peers. White women who used hair dyes that frequently also had a higher than normal risk of breast cancer, although it was much lower only eight percent. The study also found that women who used hair straighteners every eight weeks were 30 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than women who didnt use these products. Here, the risk was the same among black and white women, although African-Americans tend to use more of these products. Dale Sandler, Ph.D., chief of the NIEHS Epidemiology Branch and a study co-author, cautioned that although some earlier evidence supports a link between breast cancer and chemical straighteners, the new findings need to be replicated. No added risk of breast cancer was related to the use of semi-permanent or temporary hair dye.

    You should be aware that the 46,709 women participating in this study all had at least one sister who had breast cancer, making their personal baseline risk of the disease higher than normal.

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    What Is The Evidence That Personal Hair Dye Use Is Associated With Risk Of Nhl

    A number of studies have investigated the relationship between the personal use of hair dyes and the risk of NHL, with conflicting results. Because the small size of some studies may have limited their ability to detect an association between hair dye use and cancer, a pooled analysis of four case-control studies was carried out . All four studies had obtained detailed information on hair dye use, including dates and duration of use, and on NHL subtype. The pooled analysis included 4,461 women with NHL and 5,799 women who did not have NHL. The results of the study showed that women who began using hair dye before 1980 had a slightly increased risk of NHL compared with women who had never used hair dye, whereas no such increase in risk was seen for women who began using hair dye after 1980.

    Hair Dye And Leukemia Cancer

    Are Hair Dyes and Relaxers Causing Cancer?

    Does hair dye cause leukemia or blood cancer? A few studies on whether hair dye may cause leukemia cancer have not shown any strong link between hair dye use and increased risk for leukemia cancer.

    For instance, a study conducted in the U.S and Canada, with 765 leukemia patients and 623 healthy individual test subjects, has found a slightly elevated risk of leukemia cancer noticed in permanent and non-permanent hair dye users than those who didnt use any hair dyes. Still, there has been only a minor difference and the researchers didnt find any strong link between hair dye use and leukemia development that should raise concerns.

    A study conducted in Italy also did not find any strong association between hair dye use and leukemia, although in its findings, there is a slightly increased risk noticed between black/dark brown hair dye users and development of leukemia.

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    Do Hair Dyes Cause Cancer

    Permanent hair dyes produced before 1980 contained ingredients that are now known to cause cancer. These were eliminated from dyes produced in the United States in 1979, when industry-wide changes in the formulation of hair dyes were instituted.

    It has generally been assumed that personal use of todays hair dyes is safe, even though there is some evidence that at least one cancer causing agentknown as 4-ABPcan be present in some dyes or dye-lots. It is not a deliberate ingredient, but an unintentional by-product of the manufacturing process. Another problematic chemicalknown as 2,3-Naphthalenediolwas banned from hair dyes in Europe in 2006, but may be present in some US hair products.

    Because of continued concerns about the potential risks of such chemicals, along with the observation that the incidence of a type of cancer known as lymphoma has doubled in the last 20 yearswhile the popularity of permanent hair dyes has also increasedscientists have investigated whether hair dye increases the risk of lymphoma.

    Personal Use Of Permanent Hair Dyes And Cancer Risk And Mortality

    Assumptions of various latencies did not materially change the main findings for the aggregated and site specific cancer endpoints, except for a possible increased ovarian cancer risk with longer latency among women with naturally light hair . Similarly, we did not observe any major variation in the associations when follow-up was restricted to the first 10 and 20 years after exposure assessments stopped. However, there was a possible decreased breast cancer risk with longer follow-up among women with naturally light hair , and a decreased ovarian cancer risk among women whose natural hair color was black . In analyses that used baseline exposure information only, the results remained similar, although we observed minor variations .

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    What Is The Evidence That Personal Hair Dye Use Is Associated With Risk Of Bladder Cancer

    Research on personal hair dye use and the risk of bladder cancer has produced conflicting results.

    An analysis of data pooled from 17 studies of personal hair dye use found no evidence of an increased risk of bladder cancer . However, some recent studies have suggested an increased risk of bladder cancer associated with the use of permanent hair dyes , whereas other studies have not . Also, some but not all studies have suggested an increased risk of bladder cancer associated with the use of dark-colored dyes.

    Because studies have shown that professional hairdressers have an increased risk of bladder cancer that may be due to occupational exposure to hair dye , researchers will continue to study whether personal hair dye use is related to bladder cancer risk.

    Can Hair Dye Cause Cancer & What Types Of Cancer Can Be Caused By Hair Dye

    Five Common Cancer Myths Debunked

    There are many people around the world who use hair dyes. It is estimated that more than one-third of women who are over the age of 18 years and nearly 10 percent of men over the age of 40 use some form of hair dye. Todays hair dyes are classified as being oxidative or permanent, temporary or semi-permanent. Permanent hair dyes are the majority of all marketed products available today. Due to the widespread use of hair dyes today, the question of whether or not hair dyes cause cancer is important. Research studies so far have been inconclusive and contradictory. So can hair dyes cause cancer? Lets take a look.

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    Hair Dyes And Cancer Risk

    Why is there concern that hair dyes may cause cancer?

    Many people in the United States and Europe use hair dyes. It is estimated that more than one-third of women over age 18 and about 10% of men over age 40 use some type of hair dye.1

    Modern hair dyes are classified as permanent , semipermanent, and temporary. Permanent hair dyes, which make up about 80% of currently marketed products, consist of colorless dye intermediates and dye couplers. In the presence of hydrogen peroxide, the intermediates and couplers react with one another to form pigment molecules. Darker colors are formed by using higher concentrations of intermediates. Semipermanent and temporary hair dyes are nonoxidative and include colored compounds that stain hair directly.

    Over 5,000 different chemicals are used in hair dye products, some of which are reported to be carcinogenic in animals.24 Because so many people use hair dyes, scientists have tried to determine whether exposure to the chemicals in hair coloring products is associated with an increased risk of cancer in people.

    Over the years, some epidemiologic studies have found an increased risk of bladder cancer in hairdressers and barbers.2,6 A report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that some of the chemicals these workers are exposed to occupationally are probably carcinogenic to humans.7

    Strengths And Limitations Of Study

    Secondly, the carcinogenic potential of dark colored permanent hair dyes are of greatest concern.127 Permanent hair dyes consist of dye intermediates and couplers, which can react with each other to form pigment molecules.12 The shades of color are approximately proportional to the concentration of ingredients darker hair dyes tend to contain higher concentrations of ingredients, whereas lighter shades contain lower concentrations.12 Additionally, lead acetate based dark colored products can still be found on the international market.14 Previous studies have particularly noted a potential increase in cancer risk for users of dark colored permanent hair dyes.17 However, in our study, we lacked information on the color of permanent hair dyes used, instead conducting analyses stratified by natural hair color to explore the question of heterogeneous effects only indirectly . Thirdly, the reported increase in using natural or direct dye in combination with permanent hair dye should be noted,1 and their safety warrants further investigations. Fourthly, attention should be paid to differences relating to permanent hair dye use in personal and occupational exposure settings. Although the chemical composition of hair dye products for occupational use is similar to that for home use, the cumulative dose of dermal and airborne exposure for hairdressers or beauticians could be higher than that of consumers.137

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    What Should You Do

    The link between hair dye and cancer hasn’t been confirmed. We need more studies to show whether there is a risk to people who get their hair colored. Experts say hair dye isn’t likely to cause cancer on its own. Many different factors affect your odds, including your family history, gene mutations, diet, and whether you smoke.

    Still, if you’re worried about the safety of hair dye, you can use a vegetable-based color product. Natural dyes may not color your hair as well as chemical-based ones, but they might pose fewer risks.

    During pregnancy, wait until after your first trimester to dye your hair. Doctors don’t know what effect the chemicals in dyes could have on your growing baby.


    Some people have an allergic reaction when they dye their hair. If you’re sensitive to the chemicals in hair dyes, do a patch test before you use any new dye. Try out the color on a small patch of your hair to see if your skin reacts. Once you’re sure that you aren’t sensitive to the dye, then color the rest of your hair. Always wear gloves when you apply color to your hair.

    Cancers And Cancer Related Deaths

    Hair Dye Link to Cancer – Good Medicine with Dr. Will Gibbs

    Physician diagnosed incident invasive cancers were self-reported every two years on the questionnaires and confirmed by review of medical records and pathology reports or by linkage to state cancer registries. More than 96% of deaths were confirmed through next of kin or postal authority reporting, and regular searches of the National Death Index.2526 Investigators reviewed death certificates and medical records to classify the cause of death according to the international classification of diseases .

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