Directorate General Health & Consumers
The SCCNFP has evaluated the scientific paper on 'Use of permanent hair dyes and bladder cancer risk' by M. Gago-Dominguez et al (Int. J. Cancer : 91, 575-579 (2001)).
The following conclusions were made :
- The study is well conducted and important confounding factors (e.g. smoking) were properly addressed.
- The study shows an increased risk of bladder cancer among women who made regular use of permanent hair dyes over many years.
- The risk is positively correlated to the number of years of usage and frequency of application.
- The study confirms the results of earlier occupational health studies in hairdressers and barbers.
- The study is not in contradiction to earlier studies, which did not show a clear correlation.
- The chemical identity of the permanent hair dyes used by the study population is unknown.
The SCCNFP concludes that the potential risk for the development of bladder cancer in past users of permanent hair dyes is of concern.
The SCCNFP requests a full quantitative list of all dyes currently used in permanent hair dye formulations in the EU.
The list should provide all (published and unpublished) data on mutagenicity and carcinogenicity.
The SCCNFP recommends that :
- the European Commission provides resources for the urgent review of the information.
- further epidemiological studies are performed to evaluate the possible association between bladder cancer and the use of permanent hair dyes in the EU.
- the European Commission takes further steps to control the use of hair dye chemicals since the potential risks of using this category of substances give cause for concern.