A young girl in Luton has suffered skin burns after using a henna product, prompting Trading Standards to launch a crackdown on illegal products.
Luton Borough Council says most henna is perfectly safe if used properly but that there is a small number of potentially dangerous products reaching the market.
These contain excessive quantities of a chemical known as PPD (p-Phenylenediamine), which can cause severe allergic reactions.
Councillor Mohammed Ashraf, responsible for Trading Standards, said: “For many communities in Luton, using henna is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years.
“It is unacceptable that cheap, unsafe henna products can be sold in the town putting people’s health at risk.
“I would urge anyone buying henna to make sure it is properly marked.”
PPD is forbidden for use in products applied directly to the skin.