Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Dermatology / 03.09.2020 Interview with: Yin Zhang MD Research Fellow in Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School What is the background for this study? Response: Among modern hair dyes, permanent hair dye is the most popular type, and is the most aggressive and extensively used type that has posed the greatest potential concern about cancer risk. Monitoring and investigating the carcinogenic hazard to people from personal use of permanent hair dyes has major public health implications. In 2008, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, after comprehensive reviewed prior evidence, classified occupational exposure to hair dyes as a probable carcinogen to humans (group 2A), whereas personal use of hair dyes was not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3). Data on hair dye safety has also been continuously monitored by the USFDA. Prior epidemiological evidence may have been influenced by not discriminating between personal and occupational exposure, an inability to distinguish types and colors of hair dyes used, imprecise assessment of several critical domains of exposure history (duration, frequency and cumulative dose), and inadequate control for potential confounding. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Technology / 13.06.2018 Interview with: Dr. Richard S. Blackburn BSc (Leeds), PhD (Leeds), CCol FSDC Associate Professor in Coloration Technology Head of Sustainable Materials Research Group University of Leeds What is the background for this study?Response: I’ve been working with my colleague Professor Chris Rayner at The University of Leeds for over 10 years in the field of anthocyanins, which are pigments that provide colour to most berries, flowers, and many other fruits and vegetables. We have developed techniques to isolate these compounds from food waste, characterise the chemistry of the extracts, and use these natural pigments in various applications. In this work, anthocyanins extracted from blackcurrant waste created during the manufacture of blackcurrant cordial (Ribena) have for the first time been used in an effective new hair dyeing technology. Why hair dyeing? The global hair coloration industry is worth more than $10 billion a year, with the number of people colouring their hair in professional salons and at home on the increase, but some of the ingredients found in commonly-used synthetic hair dyes, are known irritants and can trigger severe allergic reactions. There is also much debate about whether these ingredients also cause cancer. Dyes that some may consider ‘natural’ – such as those including henna – usually escape scrutiny when it comes to health concerns, but the main natural colorant in henna is lawsone, which the EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety states is toxic. What is more, it is thought up to 95% of all dyes end up washed down the drain; their effect on the environment is unknown. Because of issues and concerns around conventional dyes, we wanted to develop sustainable, biodegradable alternatives using green chemistry processes that minimise potential risks to health and offer consumers a different option. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Occupational Health / 11.06.2014

Gabriella Johansson Occupational and Environmental Medicine Lund University Hospital Lund, Interview with: Gabriella Johansson Occupational and Environmental Medicine Lund University Hospital Lund, Sweden   MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?Answer: Our main focus was to study hairdressers’ exposure to carcinogenic aromatic amines. We found that the concentrations of the carcinogenic compound o-toluidine in blood increased with the number of treatments per week of light color permanent hair dyeing and hair waving treatments. Another aromatic amine, m- toluidine (assessed as not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans owing to a lack of data) in blood, increased with the number of treatments per week of light color hair dyeing and all other hair dyeing. (more…)