There are many rumors floating around about one of the key ingredients in dandruff control shampoos. One of the questions that we often hear is “does pyrithione zinc cause cancer?” While the answer is fairly straightforward (and we’ll come back to that in a moment), let’s quickly look at why people may be asking. Why did the EU ban pyrithione zinc shampoos? Despite being used in dandruff shampoos for more than 60 years, and despite multiple studies affirming that it’s safe, the European Union recently banned the use of pyrithione zinc in soap, shampoo, and other cosmetics. Frequently, in the United States, when an ingredient gets banned it is due to scientific studies that have demonstrated a risk. The EU tends to be more cautious and has a history of banning ingredients and substances that MAY cause harm in various ways. In the case of this particular ingredient, The EU’s concern was environmental, and due to a lack of submitted evidence that it caused no environmental harm. There was no concrete evidence presented to suggest that it caused such harm. But most importantly, the EU did NOT claim a connection between pyrithione zinc and cancer and specifically deemed it safe to use in shampoos and conditioners. Does pyrithione zinc cause cancer? Despite being a restricted substance in the EU, it is fairly decisive that pyrithione zinc does NOT cause cancer. To date, there are no peer-reviewed scientific studies that demonstrate that zinc pyrithione cream or shampoo causes cancer. On the contrary, there is published medical evidence that zinc pyrithione inhibits tumor growth and actually KILLS cancer cells in laboratory tests. So with that out of the way, let’s look at a few potential pyrithione zinc side effects. According to the Mayo Clinic, pyrithione zinc has two potential side effects when used correctly. The first is an allergic reaction at the treatment site. The second is mild skin irritation. The risk of either of these reactions is small, and generally nothing to cause worry and uncertainty. Vitally, the Mayo Clinic explains that the risk is the same (low) to children and infants. As we’ve discussed regarding the ingredient on our website, “Data from evaluated studies by the FDA showed topically applied PZ has a high safety margin, no contact sensitization, and no photosensitization. From 1964 to 1982, only 3 cases of allergic contact dermatitis had been reported.” Happy Cappy Zinc Pyrithione Shampoo is “Generally Regarded As Safe And Effective (GRASE)” Happy Cappy’s Medicated Shampoo and Body Wash features an FDA approved active ingredient, pyrithione zinc, which has been proven safe and effective for many decades for relief of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis (cradle cap). This means that you can help your baby’s skin feel better without being concerned. Shop our products for relief, soothing, and prevention today!