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Cancer chemical found in hair dyes

THE food and drug watchdog in Guangdong Province discovered a cancer-inducing chemical in six hair dye products from five domestic manufacturers including four from Guangdong during a recent check focusing on unlicensed hair dye cosmetics.

The Zhangguang 101 Hair Coloring Cream by Beijing-based hair growth treatment manufacturer Zhangguang 101 Science & Technology Co Ltd was also among the products tinted by m-phenylene diamine, an industry dye that may cause cancer, deformity or gene mutation.

Guangdong Food and Drug Administration has launched an investigation into the four local companies and referred the Zhangguang product to its Beijing counterpart, but products of the five manufacturers were still on sale as no conclusions have been drawn yet, said a spokesperson of the FDA surnamed Zhong.

Zhangguang Co has denied the accusation and issued a statement on its Website saying the products seized in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong, were fakes. Both the color of the packaging and the company name were wrong, it said.

The Guangdong FDA has completed testing samples of 81 batches of hair dye from 90 cosmetics manufacturers and distributors.

The six contaminated products have m-phenylene diamine content ranging from 0.09 percent to 0.23 percent.

The material is banned from cosmetic products, said Qiu Bingyi, an official from the Ministry of Health.

It's necessary to have a license from the state authority to make hair dyes and adding m-phenylene diamine is strictly banned, according to Guangdong FDA. Any plants violated these rules face severe punishment, it added.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration is testing a Revlon black hair dye and four Guangdong brands that were found to contain the m-phenylene diamine by Guangdong authorities.

Some local retailers have begun withdrawing the questionable goods even though there has been no requirement to do so by the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau.

Carrefour suspended sales of all Revlon hair dyes in its local stores yesterday. Company officials said the suspension was voluntary.


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