Thousands of ‘dangerous’ black henna cosmetics seized from Upton Park shop

Nearly 7,000 dangerous black henna ink cosmetics were seized from one shop in Green Street by Newham Trading Standards.

The decorative stain, popular among Indian and Pakistani communities for weddings and religious celebrations, is being targeted by council officers following an incident last year that left a young girl scarred for life.

While visiting from Cambridge, Sallyha Din, 17, bought some black henna from a Newham store.

Her skin was permanently damaged by high levels of benzene and lead in the ink.

Sallyha said: “It was just getting more and more intense burning to the point the pattern had raised and started to blister.

“My hand went red and I was in a lot of pain.”

Newham Council’s Trading Standards officers say they are redoubling their efforts to target black henna, which they believe is being imported from Pakistan, after 6,500 items were seized from a seller in Green Street.

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Cllr Unmesh Desai, Newham Council’s Executive Member for Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour, said: “Parents and young people must be very vigilent 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.”

Residents are asked to report sales of the substance to Consumer Direct on 01622 626520/01622 626523 and ask for Newham Trading Standards.