The US Food and Drug Administration has announced that hair dyes can’t contain lead any longer. Starting in 12 months it will be illegal to use lead, a neurotoxin, in cosmetic products in the US.
Lead acetate was originally approved as a color additive about 40 years ago and since then it has been continually revealed as being a dangerous substance.
Exposure to lead can have serious affects on human health of adults and children but there are other color additives that can be used which do not contain lead.
In the world of hair dyes, the ones that tend to be packed full of the worst chemicals are dark, permanent hair colors. The well known brands, ‘YouHair’ and ‘Grecian Formula,’ which are used to darken gray hair contains lead acetate. Due to recent studies, the FDA now is against the use of lead as a color additive. There has been a lot of lead exposure reduction in the last years, but this new move is an added measure to protect consumers from unwitting lead poisoning.
Companies which currently use lead in their products have 12 months to recreate hair dye formulations which currently contain lead acetate, without it.
Consumers should read all labels carefully and opt for dyes which don’t contain harmful additives like lead, ammonia and other chemicals. These chemicals could be directly related to some cases of chronic kidney disease and extreme caution should be exercised if you have CKD and are currently dyeing your hair.