Wembley lawyer to petition parliament on chemical ban after near-fatal reaction to her hair dye

PUBLISHED: 09:56 08 September 2015 | UPDATED: 11:19 08 September 2015

Lawyer Ms Williamson is calling for 100,000 signatures to have the ban debated in by MP's

Lawyer Ms Williamson is calling for 100,000 signatures to have the ban debated in by MP's


A lawyer from Wembley who had a near-fatal allergic reaction after using a home hair dye kit is launching a petition in parliament to call for an outright ban on an active chemical in the UK.

Marina Williamson almost had a heart attackMarina Williamson almost had a heart attack

Marina Williamson, 33, was told by doctors she was lucky to be alive after being hospitalised with breathing difficulties and a racing heartbeat six days after she used the L’Oreal Garnier Nutrisse dye.

Two weeks on from her ordeal, she is still suffering from hives, weeping skin and scarring after a severe reaction to chemical ingredient para-phenylenediamine (PPD).

Anyone who dyes their hair can suddenly become allergic to PPD despite using it before. Ms Williamson, who works as a solicitor-advocate at OJN solicitors, has now submitted an e-petition to the parliamentary authorities in the hope of gaining the 100,000 signatures needed for a ban on the use of PPD in hair dye products to be debated in the House of Commons.

Ms Williamson, who has also taken her case to two EU-level standards bodies, said: “I’ve launched a petition to have this extremely dangerous chemical outlawed in hair dye products so no one else has to face the diabolical reaction I have had.”

Ms Williamson had weeping on her earsMs Williamson had weeping on her ears

The e-petition is currently being scrutinised by parliament’s petition committee but Ms Williamson hopes it will be available to sign online by Friday.

The petition lists potential consequences of allergic reaction to PPD as “severe dermatitis, asthma, hives, intense stinging, irritation, rash” and “swelling of the eyes and/or face, blisters or oozing of the scalp and/or skin, gastritis, renal failure, vertigo, tremors, convulsions, shortness of breath, and coma in humans.”

Ms Williamson added: “I’m still suffering and have to go back to the doctors this week because my skin reaction has got worse. It’s a nightmare to have to take so much time off work.”

There have been several reported cases of women dying from severe reactions to hair colouring in recent years, including Tabatha McCourt, 17, who died 20 minutes after dying her hair in 2011.

Ms Williamson was still suffering hives this weekMs Williamson was still suffering hives this week

PPD, which is found in many permanent dye products including hair dye and henna tattoos, currently features on an EU-wide list of high-risk chemicals subject to a number of legal restrictions.

Certain compounds of the dye have been banned in several EU countries.

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