Substandard henna being openly sold in markets

Substandard henna being openly sold in markets

ISLAMABAD: Henna, one of the most favorite and wanted item by women on Eid can prove to be dangerous if the chemical used in its preparation is of sub standard quality and applied on human skin.

A number of companies are manufacturing ready to apply henna which are easily available in markets but there is no check and balance system to verify the quality of the chemical used while manufacturing it.

On the occasion of Eid ul Fitr, Henna is considered an essential item for women to complete their Eid preparations and its sale reaches its peak especially the ready to apply ‘Cone Mendhi’.

Temporary stalls setup by vendors offering low price jewelry, Cone Mendhi and other accessories like hairpins, clips, bands, are tempting to women to wrap up their Eid shopping at minimum rates. Most of the products displayed at these stalls are of substandard quality said Dr Nadia Akhtar, a doctor at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).

She explained that sub-standard chemicals used in Henna have deep effects on human skin and there should be strict vigilance on the products supplied to markets by the quality control authorities.

She stressed that the product should clearly mention the ingredients therein but unfortunately no one checks these things and manufacturers take advantage of the innocence of the people just to mint money. Sara Shahid, a teenager told the media that last year her sister bought Henna from a vendor on ‘Chaand Raat’ and when they applied it on their hands, they turned red and itching started. “My sister and I immediately washed our hands but the reaction was so strong that despite applying ointment the irritation persisted for three days”. Shazia Malik a beautician running a beauty parlour at Bahria Town Phase VIII said, “Girls should be very conscious while purchasing Henna and check it before buying”. The substandard henna starts itching immediately after applying and is very uncomfortable she told APP adding, that one should avoid such henna products to keep themselves safe from infections.

She said ‘cone mendhi’ is manufactured at local small factories and people use substandard chemicals in different quantity which cause reactions. “People preparing this Henna are not trained so they exceed the chemical quantity or other things which results in reaction”. She stated that there is no odor in the henna available in market and it’s just ‘emergency Cone Mendhi’ which has no soothing affect but people buy it because it colors the hand in a very short time.

She further added that there is also another artificial method of preparing this Henna. Few manufacturers just use ‘Gurr and black tea’ and steam it for some time to prepare it and fill it in cones through syringes. This is very cost effective method as no original henna is used in it, she said adding, few other methods are also used to reduce cost of production without analyzing how harmful effects they can have on human skin. She further said that she bought Henna in bulks due to rush on Eid but from few specific shops asking by name good reputed brands.

Eid is an occasion of happiness and people want to look beautiful and elegant but contaminators ruin their joy with such practices just to get some extra money. She urged the concerned authorities to take action against such henna manufacturers for ensuring only quality products in the market.