Hair Dye Increased Risk Of Breast Cancer. Every day, women sit down in salon chairs around the world and have their hair dyed. Perhaps they want a fresh new look, or maybe they want to cover up some grey hairs that are peeking through. Regardless, hair dye is commonly used by thousands of women, both in professional salons and at home. However, could this common practice be linked to an increased risk of breast cancer?
In an article from Independent, the authors describe a study that may reveal a link between hair dye and breast cancer. Dr. Kefah Mokbel, a London surgeon who has privileges at Princess Grace Hospital, led a study that concludes women who dye their hair may be subjected to an increased breast cancer risk of up to 14 percent. According to Dr. Mokbel, women should not dye their hair more than two to six times every year. For women who cannot give up their color in a bottle, Dr. Mokbel suggests using naturally based hair color, such as those that incorporate rose hip, beetroot, or henna. On Twitter, Dr. Mokbel commented, “It would be preferable to choose hair dyes that contain the minimum concentration of aromatic amines such as PPD (less than 2%).”
Dr. Mokbel explained that he found it “concerning” that the industry advises women should dye their hair every four to six weeks knowing that findings have suggested that exposure to hair dyes contributes to an increased breast cancer risk.
Dr. Mokbel did note that the study only reveals a correlation between hair dye and breast cancer, not causation: “The positive association between the use of hair dyes and breast cancer risk does not represent evidence of a cause-effect relationship.”
Dr. Mokbel added a few additional thoughts on his Twitter account. He tweeted that women should limit their exposure to hair dyes to no more than two to six times per year, and that, once they turn 40 years old, they should begin regular breast cancer screenings.
In another study out of Finland, similar findings were observed. Sanna Heikkinen of the Finnish Cancer Registry commented, “We did observe a statistical association between hair dye use and risk of breast cancer in our study.” Heikkinen agreed with Mokbel that a causal relationship has not yet been concluded. She explained, “It is not possible to confirm a true causal connection. It might be, for example, that women who use hair dyes also use other cosmetics more than women who reported never using hair dyes.”
The Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association has responded by saying numerous safety requirements are imposed on hair dye before they are distributed into the market.
What is in hair dye that could be harmful?
There are three primary types of hair dye: temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent. Permanent hair dyes are the most common, comprising around 80 percent of the hair dye market. Permanent dyes contain components called “intermediates,” which are aromatic amines. Dye “couplers” are another ingredient in permanent hair dye, which works with the colorless intermediates. When hydrogen peroxide is present, the couplers and the intermediates undergo a chemical reaction that forms pigment. Darker colors require higher intermediate concentration when making hair dye.
Hair dye products may contain up to 5,000 chemicals. Some of these have been identified as being carcinogenic to animals. Aromatic amines have been reported as causing cancer in animals. Though hair dye formulas were changed in the 1970s to eliminate many harmful chemicals, today’s formulations may still contain toxic substances. Since hair dyes are so commonly used, this small increase in cancer risk could have substantial effects in our population.
Interestingly, some epidemiologic studies have reported that barbers and hairdressers experience higher rates of bladder cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer commented that some of the chemicals hairdressers and barbers are around are “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Can I hold hair dye manufacturers liable if I get cancer?
If you regularly have your hair dyed and you are eventually diagnosed with breast cancer, it may be possible to hold the hair dye manufacturers liable for your injury. However, such a case would not be without its challenges.
For example, as the research has stated, the hair dye/cancer link is only a correlation at this point-a true causal link has not been established. Therefore, hair dye manufacturers could use this point to argue that their product is not the cause of cancer.
However, if more evidence is presented that supports a link between cancer and hair dye, those who have been injured by hair dye may be able to prevail in their lawsuits against the manufacturers. These claims fall under the umbrella of products liability claims. In a products liability claim, someone alleges that the manufacturer sold a product that was defective, and that the defective nature of that product caused an injury.
There are three primary types of products liability claims:
- Those that allege manufacturing defects
- Those that allege design defects
- Those that allege marketing defects
All of these defects may be present in a single product.
With manufacturing defects, the claimant alleges that a malfunction in the manufacturing process caused injury. For example, in the hair dye example, consider what would happen if an extremely toxic chemical that caused hair to fall out was accidentally used in a batch of hair dye. Because the error occurred in the factory, this is an example of a manufacturing defect.
With design defects, the claimants allege that the way the product is designed is the cause of the harm. If it is determined that the chemicals that are used in hair dye are harmful to humans, a design defect claim may be filed against hair dye manufacturers. Because the manufacturers knowingly and intentionally selected these ingredients to use in their products, and because those ingredients are harmful, the defect is a matter of design.
With marketing defects, the claimant alleges that the manufacturer failed to provide adequate instructions or warnings with a product. For example, if hair dye has been linked to congenital disabilities, and the manufacturer knows of this link, the manufacturer must provide a warning about birth defects in its products. If it does not, it may be held liable for injuries that result.
Products liability claims are complex and require the careful analysis of thousands of pages of documents and other types of evidence. If you believe a product has injured you, it is essential to meet with a skilled products liability lawyer as quickly as possible to ensure your legal rights are protected throughout this process. With the assistance of an experienced products liability attorney, your allegations against the company will be supported with valid evidence, significantly increasing your chances of prevailing. Manufacturers that injure consumers must be held accountable for their actions so that they do not continue to harm others in the future.
Free Hair Dye Breast Cancer Claim Review
If hair dye injured you, contact Parker Waichman LLP today. At Parker Waichman LLP, we hold manufacturers in all industries and of all sizes accountable for the severe injuries they cause to consumers. To schedule your free hair dye cancer consultation with our experienced legal team, call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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