Use of Hair Dye and Risk of Breast Cancer in African-American Women

10:02 AM, Mar 03, 2020

About one-third of all women use hair dyes. Hair dyes are known to contain thousands of different chemicals. Health experts fear that some of these chemicals can cause serious health effects in women.

To research the potential health risks of hair dyes, the National Institute of Health (NIH) sponsored a study published in December 2019. The NIH Study focused on the potential risk of breast cancer from the use of hair dyes and straighteners. Over 46,000 women participated. The researchers separated data into two racial categories: “Non-Hispanic White” and “Black.” Most prior studies on breast cancer and hair dye did not include any analysis by race, and many only included white women.

The researchers found that black women who used permanent hair dye within the last year were 45% more likely to develop breast cancer than black women who had not used hair dye. The risk was even higher for those who used darker colors or who dyed their hair more often. African-American women who used only dark colors had a 51% increased risk of breast cancer compared to non-users. African-American women who dyed their hair every 5-8 weeks had a 60% higher risk of breast cancer than African American women who did not dye their hair.

Sadly, other studies report that the mortality rate among African-American women with breast cancer is 40% higher than for white women. African-American women are also more likely to be diagnosed with more aggressive types of cancer. Therefore, NIH’s study reporting an increased breast cancer risk for black women using permanent hair dye has “the potential for substantial public health impact.”

If you or a loved one used permanent hair dye and were diagnosed with breast cancer within the following year, contact one of Burg Simpson’s nationally recognized product liability attorneys in Cincinnati today.


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