Wednesday, July 17, 2013

In 1933, more than a dozen women were blinded and two women died from using a permanent mascara called Lash Lure. The dye contained paraphenylenediamine (PPD), an aniline dye that caused severe allergic reactions, including blisters, abscesses, and ulcers on the face, eyelids, and eyes of users. 

In the case of one of the deaths, the woman’s eyebrows had been plucked before being dyed, allowing the entrance of Staphylococcus aureus, otherwise known as MRSA. The infection spread to her eyes, which were already swollen and injured by her allergic reaction to Lash Lure. When the bacteria entered her bloodstream, the resulting infection killed her.

In response to this and other deadly incidents by consumption of products whose contents weren't labeled, Congress put together the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938, which was signed into law by FDR. The Act boosted the FDA's power and created more legislation for drug and other companies to adhere to.   
And in case you wondered, aniline dye is made from the chemical aniline, a coal-tar byproduct.  Today it’s used to color fabric, leather, and wood. Scarily, it’s also still used in some hair dyes. 


  1. This is SO interesting. Thank you for the article, Candice.

  2. Where do find these facts, girl? Veddy interesting. . .

  3. I'm really not sure how I find all these things. Sometimes I follow the Google internet bread crumb trail. Sometimes I read about something in a book I have, which leads me to the Google internet bread crumb trail. I've got a couple good ones coming up from some books I've been reading.


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