The chemical used in a pesticide test that has been linked to cancers in a few countries, including India, is also found in human hair, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.
The study also showed the chemical may be linked with birth defects, particularly in newborns.
“We were able to test more than 100 pesticides, using the same protocol, and we found the same level of pesticide in all the samples,” Dr. Harsh Kulkarni, WHO’s chief toxicologist, said.
The findings have renewed concerns over the possible dangers of using pesticides for cosmetic purposes, including for hair products.
“The evidence of exposure of human hair samples to a chemical that is commonly used in cosmetics and personal care products has raised concerns,” said Dr. Noreen Bhatia, a WHO spokesperson.
Pesticides are a group of chemicals commonly used to control pests, weeds and fungi, among other things.
But there is a concern that the WHO is using a chemical found in many hair products as a test.
It’s not the first time a hair test has been used to find the presence of pesticides in products.
The agency tested hair from more than 3,500 people in India and found residues of pesticides ranging from chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxin, to 2,3-dimethoxy-2-pyridine, a potent greenhouse gas.
More recently, the WHO tested hair in a lab and found traces of 2,4-dioxane, a toxic gas.
The study found the chemicals used in hair testing have been linked with other health problems.
“We have to be vigilant about the use of these chemicals and use the appropriate test and follow the guidelines,” said Bhatian.
A lot of these ingredients are used in food, cosmetics, and personal hygiene products, and it’s very important that the manufacturers and suppliers of these products and products have information on how to make sure their products do not contain pesticides,” she said.