Monday, 13 July, 2020

Research Raises Concerns About Safety Of Hair Dyes, Chemical Straighteners

Hair Dye Causes Cancer Research Raises Concerns About Safety Of Hair Dyes, Chemical Straighteners
Gustavo Carr | 05 December, 2019, 01:42

Among this group, the use of permanent dyes every five to eight weeks (or more frequently) resulted in a 60 percent increase in breast cancer risk compared to the 8 percent increase among white women.

The research was conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

For eight years, the Sister Study, which was conducted by the National Institutes of Health, followed almost 47,000 cancer-free women between the ages of 35-74 who had sisters that had been diagnosed with the disease in the past.

Findings showed that women who consistently used permanent hair dye in the year prior to the study were 9 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than the women who did not use permanent dye. The study published online December 4 in the International Journal of Cancer and suggests that breast cancer risk increased with more frequent use of these chemical hair products.

The findings need to be replicated in other studies, stressed study co-author Dale Sandler, chief of the NIEHS' Epidemiology Branch. Among all participants, regular use of a chemical relaxer or straightener was also associated with an 18% increased risk.

For both races, there was no increased risk for women who used semi-permanent or temporary dyes, the kind that eventually wash out with shampooing.

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Hair dyes have always been known to "contain endocrine-disrupting compounds and carcinogens", say the researchers, who hypothesize that the formulations used on black hair may include more hormonally active compounds, and that thicker, coarser hair may absorb more dyes. There may be a reason for that: Hair dye is heavily associated with cancer.

Well, breast cancer is rarely caused by one thing only. "However, as the article readily admits, more study is necessary".

NEIGHMOND: The elevations in breast cancer risk may sound high, but Brawley says they don't compare to known risk factors like obesity and lack of exercise. The study was published Wednesday in the International Journal of Cancer.

In the meantime, Brawley says there are certain lifestyle factors that have stronger evidence of a link to cancer and are more important for women to focus on.

One reason for this statistic could be that medical professionals tend to find this cancer at an earlier stage in white women. Many women interviewed in the study might also not accurately recall frequency of use, or whether they used permanent or semi-permanent dyes, Cassell reasoned.

There's more on breast cancer at the American Cancer Society.