Volume 95 Issue 10 | p. 17 | Concentrates
Issue Date: March 6, 2017

Groups call for U.S. ban on lead in hair dyes

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: consumer products, lead, hair dye, cosmetics, FDA
[+]Enlarge
Some men’s hair dyes sold in the U.S. contain high levels of neurotoxic lead.
Credit: Shutterstock
Hair dye being applied from a plastic bottle onto gray hair.
 
Some men’s hair dyes sold in the U.S. contain high levels of neurotoxic lead.
Credit: Shutterstock

A coalition of public health advocates is urging FDA to ban the use of lead acetate in hair dyes sold in the U.S. The group filed a petition on Feb. 27 requesting FDA to reverse a decision made in 1980 that allows up to 6,000 ppm lead in such dyes. Lead acetate, which is neurotoxic and carcinogenic, is banned in hair dyes sold in Canada and the European Union. FDA, however, allows its use as long as the product includes a warning label and is used only on the scalp and not facial hair. Lead acetate is found in a few men’s hair dyes sold in the U.S., but it is typically not in hair dyes intended for women. The chemical darkens gray hair when used for several days. “It is unacceptable that as we struggle to remove lead contamination in our water supplies and old homes, we still allow lead in home-use hair dyes that many people apply by hand on a daily basis,” says Eve Gartner, litigator in the Healthy Communities Program at Earthjustice, one of the groups that filed the petition.

 
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment