Holi is a festival of vibrant hues and colours. This festival, which marks the harvest of rabi crop and the arrival of spring, was traditionally celebrated using natural coloured extracts from seasonal herbs.
However, gradually, these natural herbs were replaced by synthetic dyes most of which contain a plethora of chemicals. Did you know that these seemingly harmless colours could be toxic. This is because of the presence of cheap materials like mica, acids, alkalis, pieces of glass, which not only induce skin disorders like abrasion, irritation, itching but can impair vision, cause respiratory problems and even cancer.
Broadly, there are three categories of colours available in the market – pastes, dry powder and water colours – all of which are hazardous. The hazard increases when these are mixed with oil and applied to the skin and these “rogue” chemicals sneak easily through the skin into the body system. From whatever information is available on this subject, it is known that these chemicals have serious health implications. This factsheet examines each for the chemicals they contain and their health effects.
Let us celebrate holi in an environmentally benign manner and say no to toxic chemicals.
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