Get the lead out of hair dyes, FDA orders

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By Maggie Fox

The Food and Drug Administration moved to get the lead out of hair products on Tuesday, saying there’s no safe level of lead.

Few hair coloring products on the U.S. market still contain lead, but it had been the main ingredient in dyes sold to gradually re-color gray hair, such as Grecian Formula.

Grecian Formula now uses a compound based on a different metal, bismuth, to darken gray hair, although it’s possible to find Grecian Formula products containing lead online.

Other manufacturers should also remove lead, the FDA said.

“In the nearly 40 years since lead acetate was initially approved as a color additive, our understanding of the hazards of lead exposure has evolved significantly. We now know that the approved use of lead acetate in adult hair dyes no longer meets our safety standards,” FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

“Lead exposure can have serious adverse effects on human health, including for children who may be particularly vulnerable.”