What Does This Mean For Me
Your breast cancer risk may be increased if you use permanent hair dyes or straighteners this risk may be greater for black women than white women. The results of this study conflict with the conclusions of some older studies. There are many limitations of this study that suggest the conclusions need to be taken cautiously. Even if true, the effect of permanent hair dye or straightener use would be an increase in breast cancer risk that may have limited real-world impact. Other lifestyle factors have comparable or much greater effects on breast cancer risk.
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Which Products Contain Formaldehyde
The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration has identified some of the brand-name products that contain formaldehyde or create exposure through use, even though they do not list formaldehyde on their labels.
Small amounts of some chemicals may be absorbed through the skin or inhaled from fumes while dyeing your hair, having your hair dyed, or dyeing someone else’s hair.
Hairdressers and other professionals who regularly work around hair dyes may have a higher exposure to these chemicals than those who occasionally use hair dye for personal use.
Most research so far has not found a conclusive link between personal hair dye use and cancer but rather notes the potential.
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that chemical exposure at work for these professionals is likely carcinogenic . In terms of personal hair dye use, the IARC determined it can’t be classified as carcinogenic to humans, due to the lack of evidence from human studies.
The U.S. government’s National Toxicology Program has not classified exposure to hair dyes as having the potential to cause cancer, but has deemed some chemicals that are now or were previously used in hair dyes to possibly be human carcinogens.
Do I Qualify To Participate In A Hair Dye Breast Cancer Lawsuit
If you used a permanent hair dye or a permanent hair straightener and have a documented diagnosis of breast cancer, contact TorHoerman Law for a free, no-obligation consultation.
TorHoerman Law’s toxic tort lawsuit team is currently investigating hair dye and breast cancer, hair straighteners, and breast cancer and whether a hair dye breast cancer lawsuit or hair straightener breast cancer lawsuit is viable.
Permanent Hair Dye and Straighteners May Increase Breast Cancer Risk. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 4 Dec. 2019, www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/permanent-hair-dye-straighteners-may-increase-breast-cancer-risk.
Permanent Hair Dye and Straighteners May Increase Breast Cancer Risk. ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 4 Dec. 2019, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191204090838.htm.
Pietrangelo, Ann. Breast Cancer and Hair Dye: Heres What You Need to Know. Healthline, Healthline Media, 12 Dec. 2019, www.healthline.com/health-news/hair-dyes-and-hair-straighteners-increase-breast-cancer-risk#Putting-risks-into-perspective.
Hair Dye Hair Relaxers And Breast Cancer: Whats The Risk
Recent studies have linked hair dye and hair straightening chemicals tobreast cancer, showing a 60% increase in risk for some women who usethem. Here are the facts from our expert.
Experts and consumers have expressed concerns about a link between hair products and breast cancer for years.
Some hair dye and hair straightening treatments like relaxers contain chemicals called endocrine disrupters that can interfere with your hormones.
We talked to Abenaa Brewster, M.D., M.H.S., professor in MD Andersons department of Clinical Cancer Prevention, for advice if youre thinking about dying or straightening your hair.
About The Sister Study
These results on hair dye and hair straighteners are part of a larger study, called the Sister Study. The Sister Study is an ongoing study by scientists at the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences that includes 50,884 women living in the United States and Puerto Rico. The women joined the study between 2003 and 2009. The women were between the ages of 35 and 74 when they joined the study and none of the women had been diagnosed with breast cancer, but all had at least one sister who had been diagnosed. The Sister Study is looking at the causes of breast cancer and other health issues in women, as well as factors that influence quality of life and outcomes after a breast cancer diagnosis.
When they joined the study, the women answered questions about their health, environment, and lifestyles. The women complete health updates every year and answer detailed questionnaires about their health and experiences every 2 to 3 years.
To look for links between hair dyes and hair straighteners and breast cancer, the researchers sent a questionnaire to the women asking:
how often they used permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary hair dye or a chemical hair straightener in the 12 months before they joined the study
After 8 years of follow-up, the researchers found:
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Where Can A Person Find More Information About Hair Dyes
The Outreach and Information Center of the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition has information about hair dyes and how they are regulated. The Center can be contacted at 18887233366 or through its web site at .
Huncharek M, Kupelnick B. Personal use of hair dyes and the risk of bladder cancer: results of a meta-analysis. Public Health Reports 2005 120:3138.
Permanent Hair Dye And Breast Cancer
The press release in the link above reports that women who used permanent hair dye regularly in the year prior to enrolling in and participating in the study were more likely to develop breast cancer than women who did not.
In addition, African American women have a higher risk of developing breast cancer if they regularly use permanent hair dye. The Sister Study found that regular use among African American women was associated with a 60% increased risk of breast cancer, while the same amount of regular use among white women was associated with an 8% increased risk of breast cancer.
It’s important to note that these figures are related only to the use of permanent hair dye. The study found little to no risk associated with using temporary or semi-permanent hair dye.
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Permanent Hair Dye And Straighteners May Increase Breast Cancer Risk
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health found that women who use permanent hair dye and chemical hair straighteners have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who dont use these products. The study published online Dec. 4 in the International Journal of Cancer and suggests that breast cancer risk increased with more frequent use of these chemical hair products.
Using data from 46,709 women in the Sister Study, researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences , part of NIH, found that women who regularly used permanent hair dye in the year prior to enrolling in the study were 9% more likely than women who didnt use hair dye to develop breast cancer. Among African American women, using permanent dyes every five to eight weeks or more was associated with a 60% increased risk of breast cancer as compared with an 8% increased risk for white women. The research team found little to no increase in breast cancer risk for semi-permanent or temporary dye use.
“Researchers have been studying the possible link between hair dye and cancer for a long time, but results have been inconsistent,” said corresponding author Alexandra White, Ph.D., head of the NIEHS Environment and Cancer Epidemiology Group. “In our study, we see a higher breast cancer risk associated with hair dye use, and the effect is stronger in African American women, particularly those who are frequent users. “
NIHTurning Discovery Into Health®
Hair Dye Straighteners And Breast Cancer
A 2019 study examined a possible link between breast cancer and hair dye and hair straighteners. The study included 46,709 women in the United States who had no history of breast cancer at the time of the study enrollment, but had at least one sister who had received a breast cancer diagnosis.
The study found that the women who regularly used permanent hair dye during the year prior to the study were 9% more likely to develop breast cancer than those who didn’t use hair dye.
Little to no increase in breast cancer risk was found for semi-permanent or temporary dye use, though an association with nonprofessional application of semi-permanent dye to others was noted. This risk increased with frequency of use.
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What The Study Doesnt Tell Us
Dr. William J. Gradishar is a professor of breast oncology, director of the Maggie Daley Center for Womens Cancer Care, and director of Breast Medical Oncology at Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University in Illinois.
Gradishar told Healthline that the studys conclusions were based on a large number of participants. Thats a positive element.
But as usual with survey data, when asking what patients did or did not do, or what they were exposed to, theres always a risk of having some error in recall, he said.
None of the women got genetic testing, so we dont know if they were at higher risk. Some probably were, which might explain some of the observations made, Gradishar said.
Gradishar, who chairs the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines Panel for Breast Cancer, says its difficult to know whether these observations are applicable to the broader population.
We dont want to dismiss these results, but one has to be cautious about overinterpreting them, Gradishar said.
Study authors acknowledged they didnt evaluate the formulation of the various dyes or straighteners used. Use of hair products throughout the follow-up period wasnt considered.
Bernik doesnt have absolute confidence that hair products are the reason study participants developed breast cancer.
Why Is Hair Dye Potentially Dangerous
Using hair dye is such a common activity that I imagine most people do not give it a second thought. However, permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes contain a multitude of chemicals, such as aromatic amines and phenols, which affect how hormones act inside your body. One of these is estrogen, which is one of the triggers for hormone-related breast cancers and makes cells grow abnormally. As a result, any exposure to chemicals that have the same effect should be limited where possible.
These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and can also be breathed in from fumes generated during the dying process. This means that hairstylists are at risk from working around the chemicals, as well as the people who are having their hair dyed.
Temporary and semi-permanent dyes are not thought to carry the same risk as the permanent versions.
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Comparison With Other Studies
Hematopoietic cancer, bladder cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer are among the cancers most frequently investigated in relation to hair dye use.6 Our results differ from reports of a slightly increased relative risk of overall hematopoietic cancer612 . Our findings update the first prospective cohort study of hematopoietic cancer among women who use permanent hair dye conducted in 1994 with participants from the Nurses Health Study.17 With considerably longer follow-up, our findings generally replicate the previous report of no material increase in the risk of overall or major subcategories of hematopoietic cancer, although we note that the previous study preceded the modern WHO classification of hematological cancers .17 The observation of higher Hodgkin lymphoma risk among women who were presumed to use dark colored permanent hair dye is novel and warrants cautious interpretation. This finding is based on a limited number of women and we had insufficient histological subtype information to restrict the analysis to classic Hodgkin lymphoma types, which might have a different cause from non-classical types.34 Additionally, we cannot rule out an influence of residual or otherwise uncontrolled confounding, for example, by factors for which we lacked information .
Safety For Salon Professionals
To prevent exposure to formaldehyde, it’s best to use products that do not list formaldehyde, formalin, methylene glycol, or any of the other names associated with formaldehyde.
If these products are used, salon owners must comply with OSHA’s standards for formaldehyde and hazard communication.
If you are a hair professional using products that may contain formaldehyde or other potentially hazardous substances, take steps to protect yourself, such as:
- Read and make sure you understand the ingredient and warning information on each product’s label
- Read the Material Safety Data Sheet for each product, and learn about their hazards
- Work in a well-ventilated area using ventilation systems, such as fans or windows
- Use personal protective equipment as necessary, such as gloves, a face shield, goggles, and chemical-resistant aprons
- Know where to find first aid equipment, such as eye washing and skin washing, in your workplace
- Learn how to safely clean up product spills
- Get medical attention if you know you have had direct exposure to large amounts of formaldehyde , or if you develop symptoms of formaldehyde exposure
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Hair Dye And Chemical Straighteners
Many people use hair dye. Studies estimate that more than 33% of women older than 18 color their hair. Among Black women, using some type of chemical hair straightener is also very common. Research suggests that nearly 75% of Black women use some type of chemical relaxer/straightener on their hair.
Research also shows that hair products contain more than 5,000 chemicals, including some considered to be hormone disrupters. Hormone disruptors can affect how estrogen and other hormones act in the body, by blocking them or mimicking them, which throws off the body’s hormonal balance. Because estrogen can make hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer develop and grow, many women choose to limit their exposure to these chemicals that can act like estrogen. Other chemicals that make up hair dye have been found to cause mammary gland tumors in rats.
Chemical treatments used to permanently or semi-permanently straighten or relax hair also contain a mixture of chemicals. Many straighteners contain formaldehyde, which is considered a carcinogen, a substance capable of causing cancer.
Past research on any links between hair dye and breast cancer has offered mixed results. A few studies found a link, but many found no association. So the researchers who did this study wanted to add more information to the topic.
Personal Use Of Permanent Hair Dyes And Cancer Risk And Mortality In Us Women: Prospective Cohort Study
- Accepted 4 July 2020
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Should I Stop Dying Or Straightening My Hair
Well, I might suggest some modifications. For instance, if women really want to dye or straighten their hair, I might advise lighter shades and dying less frequently to lower their risk. Or, use temporary hair dyes which were not linked to increased breast cancer risk instead of, or more frequently than, permanent dyes.
“But my most important takeaway from this study is this: statistically, compared to many other carcinogens and risk factors, the overall risk of breast cancer from using permanent hair dyes and straighteners is quite low.
“You can take other, proven actions to decrease your breast cancer risk. These include avoiding or reducing alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight, increasing physical activity and limiting or avoiding hormone replacement therapy.
Does Hair Dye Cause Breast Cancer
4 min read
Breast cancer is a major concern among women of all ages. Prior studies focusing on the association between hair dye and breast cancer have come up with mixed results until recently, so the news can be confusing. That’s why one group of researchers decided to address the topic using sisters by recording the results over an eight-year period.
These researchers received more definitive results than others have in the past, and they were able to draw a clear link between cancer-causing chemicals in the permanent hair dye and the risk for breast cancer. So if you’ve heard of past studies on the topic and are asking, “Does Hair Dye Cause Breast Cancer?” you’ll want to read about the conclusions found by this new study to get the facts.
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Cancers And Cancer Related Deaths
Physician diagnosed incident invasive cancers were self-reported every two years on the questionnaires and confirmed by review of medical records and pathology reports or by linkage to state cancer registries. More than 96% of deaths were confirmed through next of kin or postal authority reporting, and regular searches of the National Death Index.2526 Investigators reviewed death certificates and medical records to classify the cause of death according to the international classification of diseases .