The Washington Post is reporting, along with a number of other publications, the confirmed report that popular hair dyes used extensively in the early 1970's are linked to bladder cancer. The authors of the new report on hair dye, have said the findings confirm what was first suspected back in the 1970s -- that hair dyes appear to increase the risk of cancer. Thankfully, the coloring agents in question were discontinued in the 1970s when it was discovered they tested positive for cancer in lab rodents.

Dr. Michael J. Thun, head of epidemiological research at the American Cancer Society stated "This report updates an earlier review done in the 1990s, which called the evidence inadequate to determine the risk of cancer." This leaves the debate open, somewhat, as to whether or not the same cancer risk is connected with hair dyes and chemicals still in use today in salon's worldwide.

"These studies were done over years, and cancer takes years to develop. So the relevant exposures would have been in the past, and the products have changed," Thun said. "So this report doesn't provide any evidence about the risk of current exposure."

The findings of the new study are being published in the April issue of The Lancet Oncology.

For more information on cancer and hair dyes, visit U.S. Food and Drug Administration