The Nasty World of Chemical Holi Colours: How Can They Affect Your Organs?

The wrong colours can cause blindness, rashes, kidney failure and even more serious conditions.

2 min read
Hindi Female

Holi is here and, and it's time to bring out the sweets and colours.

It's no secret that chemical colours can cause skin irritation, but it's not just your skin, the harmful chemicals in these colours like Mica, Asbestos, and Mercury can cause a range of serious health issues.

Cheaper colours, for instance, usually contain industrial dyes which can be dangerous because these aren't cleared for human use.

Read on to know more about what harmful ingredients lurk in your holi colours - pastes, watercolours, and metalics.


Metallic pastes: These pastes are used for a silver, golden and/or black effect. These colours can cause eye allergies, blindness, skin irritation, skin cancers, and even kidney failure.

While it's a very popular practice in youngsters, the use of metallic pastes during holi is highly discouraged in view of the harmful effects.

Dry colours: Commonly called as gulaal, dry colours are a mix of toxic heavy metals like lead, chromium, cadmium, copper, mercury, nickel, and asbestos.

It also contains powdered glass, which can cause blindness in extreme cases. All these metals are known to cause fever, allergies of skin, dermatitis, asthma, pneumonia, kidney failure, and even cancers.

Other problems include conjunctivitis and hair loss.

Water Colours: These colours commonly use gentian violet dye as colourant. Gentian violet is a hazardous chemical that can cause many serious health problems.

Instead, opt to use eco-friendly colours made of flower petals, herbs, vegetable extract, and turmeric.

Keep an eye out for any of these symptoms post your Holi party.

If you experience fever, nausea, vomiting, red eyes, difficulty seeing, skin eruptions, burning skin, dizziness, confusion, inability to concentrate, headaches, and/or blurred vision consult a doctor immediately.

Or better yet, avoid this entirely by playing with eco-friendly colours instead.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)


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Topics:  Holi   colours   Holi 2023 

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