Hair dye and henna tattoo exposure
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Hair dye and henna tattoo exposure

Catherine Farrow Information Specialist, National Poisons Information Service (London)

CATHERINE FARROW outlines the symptoms following contact with products containing paraphenylenediamine

Paraphenylenediamine (p-phenylenediamine, PPD) is a colourless/slightly pink, grey or yellow crystalline solid (lumps or powder). On oxidation, usually through exposure to air, it turns red, brown then finally black. PPD is essentially a dye and chemical intermediate. It is used as a hair dye and in hair and skin dyeing formulations. In industry, its uses include the manufacture of azo-dyes and dye-stuff intermediates, including fur dyeing formulations. It has also been administered orally as a pain killer (Averbukh et al 1989), and as a cure for constipation (Shemesh et al 1995), resulting in severe sequelae.

Emergency Nurse. 10, 3, 19-23. doi: 10.7748/en2002.

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