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A restrospective study of acute systemic poisoning of paraphenylenediamine (occidental takawt) in Morocco

Ayoub Filali
Ilham Semlali
Valeria Ottaviano
Carmelo Furnari
Danillo Corradini
Rachida Soulaymani


Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is commonly used in several industries (dyeing furs, photochemical processes, tyre vulcanisation industries, oxidisable hair dye, etc.). Its allergic effect is well established and many studies are devoted to the subject, but PPD systemic poisoning is not understood. Several acute PPD poisoning cases (accidental or intentional) had been reported, in particular, from Africa and Asia where it is traditionally used mixed with Henna to colour palms of hands and soles of feet and to dye hair. We examine here an eleven-year (1992-2002) retrospective of PPD poisoning reported to the Poison Control Centre of Morocco. It revealed 374 cases with a female predominance (77%). The majority of poisoning was intentional (78.1%) and the group most prone to PPD poisoning were the young population (15.1-25 and 25.1-35 years-old-age groups) accounting for 54.3% and 15.2%, respectively. 21.1% of poisoning cases were fatal, and the source/route of poisoning was by ingestion in the largest number of cases (93%). 50% of poisoning were from the south of Morocco, where phytotherapy knowledge is very developed. The largest number of cases was recorded in 2001 (20.1%). The prevention and treatment of PPD poisoning by public enlightenment is mandatory in the effort to reduce poisoning by this agent.

Keywords: paraphenylenediamine, acute poisoning, takawt, Tamarix aphyla, Morocco

African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines Vol. 3(1) 2006: 142-149

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eISSN: 0189-6016