41 Scopus citations


Aromatic amines contained in permanent hair dyes can be absorbed percutaneously and are mutagenic and carcinogenic in some laboratory studies. Concern has been raised that use of these dyes may increase the risk of human cancers. Therefore, the present study examined the relationship between permanent hair dye use and incidence of breast cancer among 118,404 U.S. women aged 30-55 years who were followed prospectively for 6 years. Among women who had ever used permanent hair dyes, 353 developed breast cancer during 246,848 person-years of follow-up, while 505 cases occurred during 397,460 person-years among never users (age-adjusted rate ratio = 1.1; 95% confidence interval = 0.9-1.2). Identical rate ratios were observed when women who had ever used hair dyes were subdivided into current and past users. Adjustment for known determinants of breast cancer in multivariate models did not alter these relationships. The risk of breast cancer did not increase with more frequent use, longer duration of use, or interval since first use. On the basis of these data and previous findings, it appears unlikely that the use of permanent hair dyes causes any important increase in risk of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-257
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1987


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