Dyed hair today, gone tomorrow

Long-term use of certain hair dyes has an increased risk of bladder cancer, according to European Commission scientists. As such, 22 hair dye chemicals are to be banned across the European Union. There is conflicting evidence that suggests such a stance should not be taken, but the Commission nevertheless insists the ban will improve consumer safety. The Commission says that safety data have not been submitted for these 22 chemicals, which include 4-hydroxyindole, 2,3-naphthalenediol, Acid Orange 24, and 3,4-diaminobenzoic acid. The ban is likely to have a rapid commercial impact as the hair dye market in the European Union was E 2.6 billion (about $3.3billion) in 2004 which accounts for some 8% of the value of output of the cosmetics industry in Europe. European Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industry policy, said: "Substances for which there is no proof that they are safe will disappear from the market. Our high safety standards do not only protect EU consumers, they also give legal certainty to European cosmetics industry."