Essay on Chemical Free : A Warning Sign

1277 Words Nov 13th, 2016 6 Pages
“Chemical-Free” – A Warning Sign in Mehndi
In many Asian and African countries, mehndi, also known as henna, is used for decoration and hair dyeing. Lawsone, the active chemical in mehndi, stains the skin and hair. It leaves behind a tint ranging from brown to red, most often the color of rust. The deeper the red, the more desirable the color, the goal being a burgundy stain on the skin and hair. This color is difficult to obtain with natural mehndi, so manufacturers of mehndi cones often add various synthetic chemicals to deepen the color. One such chemical is parapheylenediamine (referred to henceforth as PPD). With the chemical formula C₆H₄(NH₂)₂, PPD is in dark cosmetics, gasoline, and black rubber among other substances. More often now than in the past, mehndi manufacturers have been labelling their products “chemical-free”. While this title is admittedly false, it does bring a real problem to light. Chemical-free is often a misnomer, as everything is made of chemicals. This title serves to convince the public of a product’s safety. While most products are perfectly safe despite the worry surrounding this claim, mehndi cones that make this claim are safer than mehndi cones that do not. PPD is a pigment enhancer that can cause allergic reactions and severe health complications, especially to the skin and kidneys. Mehndi without this chemical are far safer than those with this chemical, making the claim “chemical-free”, while not entirely true, a safety precaution to the…

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