BEAUTY&STYLE Published December9, 2014 By Staff Reporter

Hair Dyes, Lipstick, and Cancer

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It's been said that cosmetics containing specific types of chemicals can increase cancer risk. But before you stop wearing makeup all together, read on and understand what research reveals and what the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have to say.

Hair Dye

It is estimated that more than one-third of women over age 18 and about 10 percent

of men over age 40 use some type of hair dye. Hair dyes are full of chemicals-5,000, to be

precise-and that hasn't escaped the notice of cancer researchers. Decades ago, researchers

began studying chemicals used in hair dye. They found that early dye formulations contained

chemicals that could cause cancer in animals. Not surprisingly, manufacturers changed the

formulas and eliminated some of these chemicals in the United States around 1980. Because

so many people use hair dyes, researchers continue to monitor whether chemicals in hair

coloring products can increase risk for cancer in humans.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the evidence for increased risks for cancer

from modern hair dyes use is limited and inconsistent. Some studies have indicated that people

who used hair dyes had an increased risk for bladder and breast cancer, as well as cancers of

the blood and bone marrow (such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia), while other studies

have not. Based on its review of the evidence, the Working Group of the International Agency

for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that personal use of hair dyes is "not classifiable" as

cancer-causing to humans. So it is still unclear if personal use of hair dyes can increase your

risk for cancer. If you would like to learn more about hair dye and health risks, the Outreach and


Some of the natural colors used in lipstick contain trace amounts of lead. The

National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

of the National Institutes of Health says that lead and lead products are "reasonably anticipated

to be human carcinogens." However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has assessed

the potential for harm to consumers from use of lipstick containing lead and determined that

there is no safety concern because lipstick is intended for topical use and is only ingested

incidentally and in small quantities. Always use your lipstick only as directed and keep the

products away from children.



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