Author(s): Kang IJ, Lee MH
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Abstract Henna (Lawsonia inermis, family Lythraceae) is a shrub cultivated in India, Sri Lanka and North Africa and contains the active dye lawsone (2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone). Henna dye is obtained from the dried leaves, which are powdered and mixed with oil or water and are used to prepare hair and body dyes. Temporary henna tattoos are readily available worldwide, last on the skin for several weeks and offer a self-limited, convenient alternative to a permanent tattoo. The addition of para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which is widely recognised as a sensitizer, increases the risk of allergic contact dermatitis from henna tattoo mixtures, and a number of cases have been reported. We examined 15 henna samples available in Korea for the presence of PPD and heavy metals such as nickel, cobalt, chromium, lead and mercury using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), mercury analyser and inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscopy. PPD, nickel and cobalt were detected in 3, 11 and 4 samples, respectively.
This article was published in Contact Dermatitis
and referenced in Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology