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Paraphenylenediamine Poisoning: A Review of Literature

Languluri Reddenna, Tedlla Rama Krishna, Shaik Ayub Basha


Any substance dangerous to living organisms when either applied internally or externally, destroy the action of vital functions or prevent the continuance of life is known as poison. Cosmetics, medicines, and other household items could lead to a serious poisoning if accidently consumed by children. The home environment is the primary location of most poisonings, with over 90% of reported poisonings occurring at home. Most non-fatal poisonings occur in children younger than six years of age. Paraphenylenediamine (< 4%), resorcinol, propylene glycol, liquid paraffin, cetostearyl alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, EDTA sodium, herbal extracts, preservatives, and perfumes. Paraphenylene diamine and resorcinol are known toxicants with multi-organ effects, while the toxicity profiles of others are not known. It causes systemic toxicity, manifested by severe edema of neck and face and laryngeal edema with respiratory distress frequently requiring emergency tracheostomy and mechanical ventilation. It also causes rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure, culminating in death if not treated aggressively. The controlled supervision over trading of hair dye is necessary to stop Paraphenylenediamine poisoning.  We recommend that the selling of hair dye containing PPD should be controlled and public education programme should be initiated in this regard.


Keywords: Cosmetics, Paraphenylenediamine, poisoning

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