See M.H.'s comments below - sent in via email 8/08
Some Women May Be At Greater Risk From Hair Dye
By Paula Moyer
NEW YORK, Apr 10, 2002 (Reuters Health)
Some research has suggested that women who regularly use permanent hair dye might be at greater risk for bladder cancer. Now new study findings indicate that the risk may be more pronounced among women with a specific genetic variation, according to a California researcher who presented the results at the American Association of Cancer Research meeting in San Francisco, California.
"Our findings provide further evidence supporting a causal link between hair dye use and bladder cancer risk," Dr. Manuela Gago-Dominguez told Reuters Health. "In earlier research, we found that permanent dye was a significant, independent risk factor for bladder cancer. Now we have found a genetic connection. Women who eliminated the carcinogen more slowly are more at risk."
Typically, the US Food and Drug Administration requires safety testing of all coloring agents used in cosmetics and food. However, hair dyes have historically been exempt from this requirement, Gago-Dominguez told Reuters Health.
The current research identified several genes that influence the rate of clearance of arylamines, an ingredient in permanent hair dye, said Gago-Dominguez, a researcher in preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine and Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Past research has suggested that people who have a "slow version" of an enzyme known as N-acetyltransferase-2 (NAT2) take longer to clear arylamines from the body. Subtle variations in other enzymes have been implicated, as well, including enzymes known as NAT1, GSTM1/T1/P1, and CYP1A2.
In the study, Gago-Dominguez and colleagues compared 228 women with bladder cancer to 131 healthy women the same age, specifically looking for variations in such enzymes.
Among the overall population, the researchers did not find variations in these enzymes that seemed to be associated with permanent hair dye and bladder cancer. However, they did find that women who were nonsmokers who had a "slow acetylator" version of the NAT1 enzyme did seem to be at greater risk of bladder cancer if they used permanent hair dye.
"Among nonsmoking women, NAT1 slow acetylators demonstrated a much stronger permanent hair dye-bladder cancer association," the investigators reported. Those with NAT1-influenced slow metabolism of arylamines were 6.8 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than those with NAT1-influenced rapid metabolism.
The overall risk of bladder cancer is still relatively low. About 6% of new cancer cases in men and 2% of cases in women arise in the bladder.
Irene Malbin, vice president of public affairs at The Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association, a group that represents hair dye manufacturers, says that the safety of hair dyes is well-documented.
"Hair dyes are one of the most thoroughly studied consumer products on the market today," she said. "The research shows that they are safe and consumers can have great confidence in these products."
The research "does not present new data that would prove any connection between hair dyes and bladder cancer," according to Malbin.
She notes that two large studies have found that women who use hair dye are no more likely to die of blood or immune system cancers, such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, than women who don't use such dyes.
Annie Berthold Bond,
Euro J of Cancer, 7/02
AACR Abstract # R1560, 2003
Smoking/Drinking & Hair Dye: Adult Leukemia
AACR Abstract #1563, 2003
Am J Epidemiology, 7/04
From an email 8/30/08
"I just read the abstracts about the use of hair dye in connection with cancer posted on your site. Since hair dyes have become extremely popular, it would be great to see more recent postings...with new results.
Here is a bit more information regarding that situation.
The killer chemical is called para-phenylenadiamine (PPD).
It is contained in many things besides hair dye including printing ink, tires and photography chemicals. In the U.S., hair dye solutions can contain up to 7% PPD, it is banned from hair dye in Canada and Europe. Workers that handle PPD must wear full toxic chemical safety gear so there is never contact with PPD yet the FDA allows us to put it on our heads!
The hair dye patch test is not a help. The PPD must stay on your skin much longer than recommended on the box of dye.
If someone has an allergic reation to this chemical and has contact dermatitis from it, here is what they can expect (if they live). Shortness of breath, swelling of face, hands and feet, redness on the contact site, itchy scalp, hair loss and weight gain.
These symptoms eventually dissipate somewhat but never go away, the PPD has invaded the cells that adhere to skeletal muscles. They multiply which causes an excess of histmine and puts the individual at high risk for cancer.
As time goes on, the high histamine causes allergic reactions (anaphylactic attacks) to anything and everything and the body begins to shut down.
My experience: In April 2005 I dyed my hair using dark dye from a local drugstore. I immediately experienced shortness of breath. 3 days later redness appeared on my forehead, around my ears and neck, leisions on my scalp and my hair started to frizz and fall out.
After visits to my GP, a dermatologist, a hair specialist, a Qui Gong healer and an allergist (who suggested chemotherapy) I visited a homeopath. After starting the detox and using the recommended remedies for 5 days I could step outside my house to sit on the deck, go to the grocery store and attend functions without having an attack.
Prior to this I had an attack every day, sometimes 2. My co workers even carried Benedryl in case I ran out. I continue to detox and use the remedies and every day is a little better than the last. This process, from the time I realized what was happening to today, has taken nearly 3 years. I have been using the homeopathic remedies for only 10 weeks and already feel as if I will have my life back.
My scalp is still itchy and my hair still looks like a 2 year old took scissors to it but, those issues pale in comparason to being able to breath.
The exactness of this mail may be off a bit because I am no doctor, but this is my understanding of what has happened to me and many others like me. Many people do not know why they have the symptoms so hopefully this will help them to realize that there is hope".
Additional comments sent in 9/01:
"If one has PPD poisoning they become allergic to many many other chemicals, most of which are in everyday products. If you have used hair dye with PPD in it chances are you will develop more allergies over time as the cells multiply and your histamine levels increase. The cancer risk increases if the cell cluster.
It is a horrifying chemical and very few people, including medical professionals and BEAUTICIANS, actually understand the ramifications of having contact with it. The studies I've read do not track people over long time periods (with the exception of possibly government studies or pay per read ones, which is why full protective garb is worn by workers that actually handle the stuff).
The Henna For hair site has some good articles. Some tell awful tales of children and adults having lifelong dibilitating medical issues and even death.
See a homeopath"!
|Remember we are NOT Doctors and have NO medical training.|
This site is like an Encyclopedia - there are many pages, many links on many topics.
Support our work with any size DONATION - see left side of any page - for how to donate. You can help raise awareness of CAM.