You may have read about a hair dye being withdrawn because it contains sodium perborate and you may be concerned if you have used this product. Please do not worry. As we explained to the media before the story was published, the level used in hair dyes will cause no harm. Indeed, sodium perborate has been used safely for many years in hair dyeing products.
About boron and sodium perborate
Boron, from which sodium perborate gets its name, is actually essential for healthy bone growth so the tiny amounts in sodium perborate are safe.
All boron compounds including sodium perborate were investigated under European chemicals legislation because very high levels have caused harm in experimental animal studies. These studies were not carried out by the cosmetics industry and are not relevant to the low levels used in hair dyes. However, long history of safe use in hair dyes was not considered sufficient to counteract these animal studies and the cosmetics industry was not going to carry out any animal tests of its own. Therefore a ban has been proposed for all cosmetic products at European level.
The Cosmetics Regulation has still to be changed to reflect the new information but please be reassured sodium perborate in hair dyes will not have caused any harm, including to any women who might have used them during pregnancy.