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Healthy Coal-Tar Chemical Tips

Healthy Home 2008, Spring 2008

Risks
Many coal-tar chemicals cause cancer in animals and are suspected human carcinogens. They can also irritate skin and cause allergic reactions.

Alternatives
These chemicals are hard to avoid, especially in darker dyes. The FDA recommends testing the product on a small patch of skin -- such as behind your ear or inside the elbow -- to see if it irritates your skin. If you're pregnant, avoid dyeing your hair.