July 20, 2006

EU bans 22 hair dye substances to ensure safety

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU regulators said on Thursday they
would ban 22 substances from use in hair dyes in the European
Union from December 1 to ensure consumer safety.

But the move will not affect the 2.6 billion euro ($3.4
billion) EU hair dye market because the substances are not used
anyway, said Gerald Rennor, director of science and research at
the European Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association.

"The impact will be zero," Rennor told Reuters.

The EU's Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP)
said at the end of 2002 that there was epidemiological evidence
indicating that the regular and long-term use of hair dyes by
women may be associated with the development of bladder cancer.

The SCCP called for an overall safety assessment strategy
for hair dyes including testing hair dye cosmetic ingredients
for their potential genotoxicity or mutagenicity.

The European Commission therefore asked hair dye producers
to prove the substances they used did not pose a health risk
and the industry submitted such safety files on 115 substances
in use.

The ban by the Commission, the EU's executive, concerns 22
hair dye substances for which industry has not submitted any
safety files.

"The scientific committee advising the Commission had
recommended the ban of these substances following the
conclusions of a scientific study that the long-term use of
certain hair dyes bears a potential risk of bladder cancer,"
the Commission said in a statement.

($1=.7937 euro)