Skip to Main Content

WASHINGTON — Back in 1980, when the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of lead acetate in hair dyes, little was known about the way skin absorbs toxic chemicals.

The skin — and the scalp in particular — were considered tough barriers to break, and many public health officials believed that even if small amounts of lead got through, or were inhaled, it couldn’t really hurt anyone.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!