Hair dyes pose no cancer risk, according to Germany's Federal
Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).
The institute, which is based in Berlin and reports to the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, noted that cancer-causing compounds had long been removed from hair dyes.
It added, however, that research was still needed on allergic
reactions caused by hair dyes. In skin clinics in Europe, the BfR
said, between 3% and 5% of the patients with contact
allergies are sensitive to para-phenylenediamine (PPD), a common
ingredient in permanent hair dye products that accelerates the
It is estimated that only about a third of these cases are due
to hair dyes, however. Dyes containing PPD in textiles and leather,
as well as PPD in henna tattoos, may be responsible for the rest,
the BfR said.
Though the use of PPD in hair dyes is declining, the institute
noted, some of the alternatives are "problematic." – (dpa/Sapa, November 2009)
Our cancer-causing world