IMR Press / FBE / Volume 4 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/e397

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.


Hair dye use and risk of human cancer

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1 Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: King-Thom Chung

Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2012, 4(1), 516–528;
Published: 1 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arylamine induced carcinogenesis)

Over 50% of the adult population will use hair dyes at some point in their lifetimes. Hair dyes consist of various chemicals and the composition of these chemicals vary by hair dye types. Chemicals p-phenylenediamine and aminophenyl have been suggested as possible carcinogens or mutagens in experimental studies. The scientific community has been interested in this potential public health impact and the results of published epidemiological studies are summarized here. The current evidence provides limited evidences on the association between personal hair dye use and human cancer risk, except for the possibility of hematopoietic cancers and to a lesser extent, bladder cancer. Risk appears to be affected by time period of use and by specific genetic polymorphisms. Future studies should investigate potential gene and environment interaction to assess possible genetic susceptibility. Several methodological issues should also be considered in future studies including completed hair dye use information such as on timing, duration, frequency and type of hair dye product use.

Hair Dye
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