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Case report
A severe case of methaemoglobinaemia in a Brazilian hairdresser


Methaemoglobinaemia is an extremely rare condition with multiple causes, both genetic and acquired. We present a severe case of methaemoglobinaemia occurring in a Brazilian hairdresser working in the UK. She presented after several days of preparing popular ‘Brazilian blowdry’ treatments for customers at a hair salon. She had been exposed to multiple volatile chemicals, including formaldehyde, without any respiratory protection, and we postulate that this may have caused her illness. If so, this would be the first published case of methaemoglobinaemia caused by exposure to the volatile components of beauty products.

  • poisoning
  • adult intensive care
  • exposures
  • toxicology

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