H. RAYMOND PETERS, M.D.; MILTON S. SACKS, M.D.
Hair dyeing, a practice of great antiquity, is still widely prevalent today. A variety of materials are used for the purpose of producing variously tinted hair. These substances fall into three groups: (1) Those of vegetable origin (henna, chamomile); (2) metallic substances (silver, manganese, bismuth); (3) synthetic compounds (paraphenylenediamine, paratoluylenediamine, pyrogallol). Because of the ease of application, the relative permanence, and supposed "naturalness" of the resulting tints, the last group has been greatly exploited in recent years. Soon after their introduction, however, as important fixtures in the cosmetic armamentarium, reports of toxic effects began to appear in medical literature.
PETERS HR, SACKS MS. SYSTEMIC POISONING DUE TO SYNTHETIC ORGANIC HAIR DYE: FATAL CASE WITH AUTOPSY1. Ann Intern Med. ;12:2032–2042. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-12-12-2032
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1939;12(12):2032-2042.
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