Researchers at the National Institutes of Health, U.S suggested that the use of certain hair products could lead to breast cancer, especially among black women.
According to studies, breast cancer affects around 1 in 8 women during their lifetime. This means few women can escape breast cancer. Before now, breast cancer used to be common amongst white women. Today, breast cancer rates among black and white women are similar. However, according to the authors of a new study:
"Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive tumor subtypes and to die after a breast cancer diagnosis."
According to the study released by the International Journal of Cancer, all women who regularly use permanent hair dye and hair relaxers are more likely to develop breast cancer than women who didn’t use hair dye.
The study authors wrote that the specific chemical found in the hair dyes that could be carcinogenic has not been detected yet. There are over 5,000 chemical ingredients present in various hair dyes. Some of these are known to be carcinogenic and some are capable of damaging the genes and cause mutations.
According to the study, "Many hair products contain endocrine-disrupting compounds and carcinogens potentially relevant to breast cancer. Products used predominately by black women may contain more hormonally-active compounds."
Alexandra White, Ph.D., head of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Environment and Cancer Epidemiology Group and senior author of the study, said on Twitter:
"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."