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Trading Standards prioritise dangerous henna in 2013

11:48 11 January 2013

Black henna seized by Trading Standards officers.

Black henna seized by Trading Standards officers.

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Dangerous cosmetics - including henna ink that can scar for life - is a New Year target for council officers.

Newham’s Trading Standards team say they are redoubling their efforts in Green Street, Upton Park, following the seizure of 6,700 items from one shop alone in July.

Black henna is being targeted in particular as it contains hazardous levels of benzene and lead.

Officers believe the decorative ink - popular for weddings and religious celebrations in Indian and Pakistani communities - is being imported from abroad.

Cllr Unmesh Desai, executive member for Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour, said: “Parents and young people must be very vigilant for this henna.

“Newham is taking the lead in London by cracking down hard as we believe it is circulating across the capital.

“Anyone who comes across it should contact their local council’s trading standards office immediately.”

The ink has also been made a priority after 17-year-old Sallyha Din, from Cambridge, was scarred for life after buying the black henna in Newham last March.

To report dangerous cosmetics, call Consumer Direct on 01622 626520/ 01622 626523 and ask for Newham Trading Standards.

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