, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 1139-1148,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 13 May 2012

Personal hair dye use and the risk of bladder cancer: a case–control study from The Netherlands

Abstract

Background

Several studies have suggested an increased risk of bladder cancer among hairdressers, who are occupationally exposed to hair dyes. There has also been concern about a possible increased risk of bladder cancer among users of hair dyes. However, the association between personal hair dye use and bladder cancer risk remains inconclusive.

Objective

In this study, we examined associations between personal use of permanent and temporary hair dyes and bladder cancer risk in a population-based case–control study involving 1,385 cases (n = 246 women) and 4,754 controls (n = 2,587 women).

Methods

Participants filled out a questionnaire with regard to history of personal hair dye use and risk factors for bladder cancer. Unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI), adjusted for age, smoking status, duration of smoking and intensity of smoking.

Results

Analyses were restricted to women as less than 5 % of all men in the study ever used hair dyes. About 50 % of the women ever used hair dyes. Use of temporary hair dyes (OR, 0.77; 95 % CI, 0.58–1.02) or use of permanent hair dyes (OR, 0.87; 95 % CI, 0.65–1.18) was not associated with bladder cancer risk. No clear association between hair dyes and bladder cancer risk was found when dye use was defined by type, duration or frequency of use, dye color, or extent of use. Also, results were similar for aggressive- and non-aggressive bladder cancer. Age, educational level, and smoking status did not modify the association between hair dye use and bladder cancer risk.

Conclusions

The present study does not support an association between personal hair dye use and bladder cancer risk. Also, various types of hair dye, intensity of exposure to hair dyes or dye color do not appear to be important factors for bladder cancer development.