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   Jun 11

Some hair dyes and perming products may still contain banned cancer-causing chemicals, scientists warn

Swedish scientists say those who use certain dyes regularly – weekly for professionals or monthly for consumers – may be at risk
This is after finding banned compounds in hairdressers’ bloodstreams

Team at Lund University believe glitch in the production process could have resulted in carcinogenic product called toluidines getting into dyes

The dangerous chemicals, which are linked to bladder cancer, were banned by the EU in the early 1990s

Some hair dyes may still contain banned compounds thought to increase a person’s risk of developing cancer, it has emerged.

A glitch in the production process could have resulted in carcinogenic chemicals getting into dyes and perming products, Swedish scientists warned.

Researchers at Lund University found that hairdressers had a high concentration of toluidines – banned from EU products – in their blood.

The chemicals were found in higher concentrations in hairdressers who apply light-colour permanent dyes and those who perform perms on their clients.

Scientists have raised fears that hairdressers could be at risk of developing bladder cancer, after a study showed high levels of a banned carcinogenic compound in the bloodstream of a group taking part in the Swedish study
The dangerous chemicals, which are linked to bladder cancer, were banned by the EU in the early 1990s.

Scientists involved in the study said they fear the complexity of some hair products mean that toluidines could still be found in modern hair dyes due to contamination in the production process.

They measured the levels of eight carcinogenic compounds, including toluidines, in the blood of 295 female hairdressers, 32 regular users of hair dyes, and 50 people who had not used any dyes or perms for 12 months.

It was revealed that for people who regularly came into contact with hair dye or perming products, the levels of toluidines were higher, leaving them at higher risk of bladder cancer.

The levels rose in tandem with how often they came into contact with dyes or perming products, according to the study published in the BMJ.

Experts warned that in the 1970s around 90 per cent of commercial hair dyes contained carcinogenic substances, prompting restrictions in their use.

And they called for more research into dying and perming products to find out the cause of increased toluidine levels in the blood of people who regularly come into contact with them.

Dr Gabriella Johansson, from Lund University’s Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, in Sweden said: ‘We believe there is some kind of contamination in the production process which we need to investigate. No-one really knows.

‘In the late 1970s there were carcinogenic compounds in hair dyes that were later banned.

‘There’s still a massive debate on whether there are still carcinogenic compounds present in modern hair dyes. We still really have no idea what’s in some of these products, they’re so complex.

The dangerous chemicals, toluidines, were banned by the EU in the early 1990s, after fears they caused bladder cancer. File picture of bladder cancer cells under the microscope

‘It’s important to keep exposure to carcinogenic compounds as low as possible.

‘The current knowledge on consumers using hair dye is conflicting- some studies show it increases the risk of cancer.

‘For hair dyes it’s important to work properly with gloves when you apply the colour and then you apply it to the hair, you have to be so careful.

‘We believe that the main exposure is skin contact. Our study shows that there might be a possible exposure from modern hair dyes.

‘Our study the main focus was hairdressers as they come into regular contact with these products.

‘By regular we mean weekly for professionals, monthly for consumers.

‘People using hair dye should be using disposable gloves and should try to minimise skin contact as much as possible.

‘Another important thing to do research wise is look at hair dye products and analyse them to see if you can see an exposure of toluidines in different types of hair dye.’

Source: Daily Mail

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