Solicitors are not usually known for their altruism, and those who specialise in personal injury have developed a peculiarly unsavoury reputation for themselves. So it was with some scepticism that I read a recent press release about Greg Almond of Almonds (personal injury) Solicitors in Manchester who has started a campaign to ban PPD (para-phenylenediamine), a chemical component of many hair dyes (both used in salons and for home use) that can cause serious allergic reactions.
Greg Almond has already won one claim against a major hair dye retailer who sold a kit which contained PPDs and is representing another woman who has suffered hair loss and permanent damage to her hair follicles following the use of another home hair dying product. However, his ‘campaign’ has really been got off the ground by the recent tragic death of 17-year-old Tabatha McCourt who is thought may have had a violent allergic reaction to the PPD in the hair dye that she was using.
PPD was named allergen of the year by the American Contact Dermatitis Society while the safety of all hair dyes remain under scrutiny by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Cosmetics and Non-Food Products. See an article in Cosmetics and Toileteries for more elucidation. Greg Almond is urging the government, via his local MP, to follow the lead of those European countries (Germany, France and Sweden) who have banned PPD and has submitted a FOI request asking for data on what investigations, testing and or research have been conducted into the chemical.
If you want to know more about PPD, what allergic reactions it can cause and how to treat them the New Zealand Dermatological Society have a helpful page on their website. You could also check Professor John McFadden’s article on hair dye in the February 2007 BMJ.
Another take on the problem…..