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examine finds pesticides and different poisonous chemical compounds in artificial hair in Nigeria

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Nicely-groomed hair is an emblem of magnificence for a lot of black African ladies. Pure hair requires particular care and a focus, although, which will be time consuming. Wigs (human or artificial hair), weave-ons and different synthetic hair extensions provide ladies an alternative choice to their pure hair.

In Nigeria, these options are very well-liked with ladies, each younger and previous. The artificial hair worth chain is a huge enterprise value hundreds of thousands of {dollars} and run by each native and international industries. Hairdressing salons flourish, offering styling and grooming providers for girls.

However we’ve discovered that there are contaminants hiding in artificial hair. Man-made fibres undergo numerous chemical processes to make them feel and look extra like human hair. The uncooked supplies used to make among the merchandise are poisonous. And the hair merchandise are primarily constructed from plastics which aren’t biodegradable, which is dangerous to the surroundings.

In our examine in Nigeria, we investigated 10 artificial hair manufacturers generally worn by ladies. Some have been made in Nigeria, others in China, Ghana and the USA. We discovered that every one of them had totally different ranges of contaminants akin to silver, cadmium, chromium, nickel, vanadium and lead, together with a number of pesticides that are hazardous to human well being.

Artificial hair is often worn near the scalp. Girls who put on it ought to pay attention to the potential hurt.

Regulators ought to be sure that producers of artificial hair cease utilizing plastic-based artificial merchandise and use pure plant fibres and protein blends as an alternative. These hair fibres are biodegradable and free from dangerous chemical compounds.

Our examine

We purchased 10 well-liked artificial hair manufacturers of varied colors (Catherine, Eye Sweet, Gold, Calypso, LVH, Dazzler, Mini Bob, Nectar, Diana and X-pression) from the Ariaria Worldwide market in Aba, in south-eastern Abia State.

The samples have been analysed in a laboratory.

A number of the wigs studied.
Writer offered (no reuse)

Writer offered (no reuse)

We used the US Commonplace Strategies for the Examination of Water and Wastewater to find out the presence of heavy metals (akin to cadmium, zinc, lead, chromium, manganese, iron, mercury, copper and nickel) within the artificial hair.

We discovered heavy metals in important quantities. One among them, lead, is utilized in stabilising the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that the artificial hair is manufactured from. Lead compounds (akin to fundamental lead carbonate, lead stearate and lead phthalate) stop warmth, gentle or put on and tear from breaking down the PVC, and make it simpler to type into shapes.

Lead is harmful to people, nonetheless. It impacts the membranes, DNA, and antioxidant defence methods of cells. Lead additionally interferes with the traditional improvement of a kid’s mind and nervous system.

The metals which can be used to stabilise the polymer usually are not sure to it. They will leach out over time or when uncovered to gentle. So, when ladies put on artificial hair, whether or not as attachments, weave-ons or wigs, on their heads or as faux eyelashes, they danger publicity to guide and different heavy metals. That is the case for all artificial hair manufacturers constructed from plastics.

In people, publicity to heavy metals is related to numerous organic dangers akin to harm to the kidneys, liver, lungs, reproductive system and nervous system. It has additionally been related to most cancers, pores and skin irritations, bronchial asthma and cardiovascular ailments.

We discovered additionally that the artificial hair samples have been contaminated with 11 chemical compounds that are pesticides. The degrees of those chemical compounds discovered within the hair exceeded permissible limits, making them harmful to well being.

Since they have been current in important quantities, we suspect they have been used as a type of preservative by the producers.

We additionally discovered excessive ranges of nitrate within the hair samples we studied. This has not been reported in earlier research on artificial hair. Publicity to excessive ranges of nitrate can result in ailments akin to most cancers, enlargement of the thyroid gland and methemoglobinemia (a blood dysfunction).

Why this issues

Publicity to the poisonous chemical compounds that we present in artificial hair can have critical well being penalties. Aside from harm to important organs, they will trigger infertility, delivery defects, bronchial asthma, bronchitis and cancers. Additionally they result in consideration deficit hyperactivity dysfunction, endocrine system disruption and respiratory ailments, amongst others.

Individuals who put on artificial hair ought to take into account these dangers, particularly as chemical substances and heavy metals will be dangerous even at low ranges.

Since Nigeria has giant artificial hair producers in Lagos, the Nationwide Company for Meals and Drug Administration and Management ought to continuously evaluation and consider the security of the chemical elements utilized in making these merchandise.

Artificial hair producers do have different choices. They will use top quality artificial fibres akin to hiperlon as an alternative of plastic fibres. They need to use fibres which can be free from PVC and poisonous supplies, and go for environmentally pleasant ones.


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