You may have read reports of a review of studies by Professor Kefah Mokbel that suggests there may be link between the use of hair dyes and breast cancer. We understand the alarm this may cause for the millions of people who use hair colorants, and especially for those who are most unfortunate to be suffering from breast cancer. CTPA would like to allay any concerns.
Dr Emma Meredith, Director of Science at CTPA and a pharmacist says:
"I would like to reassure anyone who might feel concerned about their hair dyes that such products must be safe to use. They are covered by robust safety requirements and their safe use is underpinned by a wealth of scientific research and strict legislation."
It is important to note that hair dyes are one of the most thoroughly studied consumer products on the market. The chemistry of how hair dyes work is well-known and their safety is supported by a wealth of scientific research. Independent scientific bodies regularly review studies on hair colorants and no link has been found between the use of hair colorants and any type of cancer. However, new information will always be considered carefully by industry scientists, European and international regulators and subjected to peer review.
As with any other cosmetic product, European cosmetic safety laws require that they must not cause harm to human health. Before any cosmetic product reaches the shelf it must have undergone a rigorous safety assessment by a professionally qualified safety assessor. This safety assessment takes into account the finished product, all of the ingredients, how and where the product is to be used, how often and by whom and irrespective of whether the ingredients are natural, organic or man-made (synthetic). All must be safe. The assessment will cover home use of hair dyes as well as those in salons, covering the use of both the hair salon professional and the client. It will also guide the manufacturer in providing clear warnings and instructions - which often go further than is required by law.
The European Commission, in partnership with the European cosmetics industry, is in the process of a comprehensive regulatory review of hair dyes. This programme means that all the hair dyes to be used are being reviewed by the Commission's independent expert committee - the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS). PPD is one of the hair dyes being supported in this process and has been assessed as safe for use as a hair dye by the SCCS. The European Union chemical laws also have a stringent process for determining if substances can cause cancer. The hair dye PPD is not under any such review.