EU scientific panel to expand probe into safety of hair dye products

A panel of European Union scientific experts are to expand an investigation into the safety of hair dyes after a preliminary inquiry found that repeated use of such products could lead to skin allergies, the European Commission said Thursday.

The EU's Scientific Committee on Consumer Products submitted an initial report to the Commission which found that "a considerably high proportion" of hair dyes tested have the potential to cause skin irritation which could lead to allergies, the Commission said.

The panel tested 46 hair dye products and found that 10 were found to be "extreme sensitizers" to skin.

"Once sensitized the person can develop an allergic reaction upon re-exposure to the substance," the Commission said in a statement.

The probe comes as more Europeans are using hair dye products, and at a younger age, officials said.

The role of the scientific inquiry is to provide "an authoritative overview" of the safety of the product. After a final report, the Commission could move to include hair dye products it deems to be unsafe for use or which pose a health risk to consumers under EU cosmetic laws.

Under EU law, hair dye makers should warn consumers about potential allergic reactions on their product's packaging. However, they do not have to mention whether the sensitization potential of the product is either extreme, strong or moderate, the Commission said.

Consumers are advised to have a skin allergy test before each and every use of the product by manufacturers.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova