Atasha Graham Dies After Allergic Reaction To Hair Glue

A woman died from a massive allergic reaction that could have been caused by the glue in her hair extensions, a pathologist said yesterday.

Atasha Graham, 34, who had used hair extensions for 14 years, collapsed after clubbing until the early hours.

Home Office pathologist Michael Heath told the inquest into her death that the latex glue used to apply her extensions – or the solvent for removing old ones – may have been to blame.

He added: ‘I’ve seen cases where people using solvent to apply extensions has actually caused anaphylactic shock.

‘There are about ten to 20 deaths a year in this country, many more in America. I have seen four in the last three months.’

Dr Heath told the hearing at Southwark Coroner’s Court in London: ‘The hair extensions in Atasha’s hair were of a latex type. This may or may not be related [to her death]. If it is the hair extension, normally a reaction would occur within half an hour of applying them.’

But he added that traces of glue or solvent could have seeped into her bloodstream hours later after she started perspiring on the dancefloor.

He ruled out reactions to food and alcohol and said there were no drugs in her system.

On May 15 last year, Jamaican-born Miss Graham had been dancing at a club where her boyfriend, Fenton Johnson, was the DJ.

Mr Johnson said Miss Graham, one of nine children, was fine until she stepped through the doorway of their home in Lee, south-east London, at 6.30am, then suddenly collapsed and stopped breathing.

He called an ambulance and tried to resuscitate her as 999 operators gave him first aid instructions over the phone.  But she never properly regained consciousness and died later in hospital.

A post-mortem failed to find any abnormalities with her organs or substances which could have caused her death.

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