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Public Health (06-07-2007)

Commission launches consultation on consumer self tests to detect sensitivity to hair dyes

Health risks related to consumer self-tests recommended by manufacturers to detect skin sensitivity to hair dyes may outweigh potential benefits, a group of EU scientists says. The Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) adopted a preliminary opinion on these consumer self-tests. The SCCP and the European Commission have consequently launched a public consultation process, which will be closed on September 6, 2007.
In its opinion, the SCCP notes that although consumer self-tests can help, they may also pose a number of potential health risks. The random way of conducting these self-tests and the variety of manufacturer instructions on how consumers should perform the tests, pose potential risks for false negative results. This means that people sensitive to hair dyes may get a negative result and wrongly believe  they can use these dyes without risks. In some cases, there is a risk that consumers would develop skin allergy to hair dye substances because of these tests.
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