Twenty-two chemicals used in permanent hairs dyes are being banned because of a cancer risk, the European Commission announced today.
On the advice of an EU scientific committee, the chemical products are being withdrawn as ingredients in dyes from December 1 because of a possible risk of bladder cancer from long-term use.
A Commission statement said the ban was just the first step in plans to produce a list of all hair dye substances considered safe for human health.
The cosmetics industry has so far submitted evidence of the safety of at least 115 products they hope to see on the final agreed list.
But ingredients not submitted for approval, including the 22 chemicals named today, or ingredients submitted and deemed a possible risk, will not make the final list.
EU Industry Commissioner Gunter Verheugen said: "The substances which have not demonstrated their safety are disappearing from the market.
"Very strict safety norms will not only protect consumers, but offer legal certainty to the cosmetics industry".
He said the 115 chemicals submitted by the industry were still being evaluated by the experts, with a final recommendation on their safety due in October.
The permanent hair dye market is worth about £18billion a year - about eight per cent of the total cosmetics market in the EU.
More than 60 per cent of women and between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of men colour their hair, according to the Commission, averaging six to eight colouring treatments a year.
The list of chemical ingredients banned today is:
Solvent Red 1 (CI 12150);
Acid Orange 24 (CI 20170);
Acid Red 73 (CI 27290).Reuse content