The market seems to be so colourful these days, thanks to Holi which is just around the corner.
Holi is a festival of colours celebrated with great spirit across India. One month prior to this festival, the markets can be seen dazzling with colourful glass, beautiful pichkaris and mouth-watering gujiyas!!
If you are going to buy colours to play Holi then you should be well-aware about real and fake colours. The market for adulterated items is equally flourishing on Holi.
Colours are prepared on a small scale and lack any kind of quality checks. Colours which include dye are openly sold in the market without any information regarding their chemical nature, purity or toxicity.
The mixing of colours
A lot of shopkeepers sell adulterated colours these days. The adulterated colours are made from inexpensive and cheap materials. These artificial colours are highly structured polymers and are next to impossible to decompose biologically.
These colours are prepared from harmful substances such as acids, glass powder, alkalis and mica. Moreover, these do not degrade under natural conditions and are not removed from wastewater by conventional wastewater treatments.
Many bacteria have also been found to decolourise, transform and completely mineralise coloured soil and water in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
Gulals are often made from harmful substances such as diesel, engine oil, copper sulphate and lead.
According to experts, the following colours are commonly adulterated with:
- Black coloured gulal- contains lead oxide, which affects kidneys
- Green gulal – contains copper sulphate, which affects eyes
- Bright coloured gulal – contains aluminium bromide, which can cause cancer
- Blue gulal- contains Prussian blue, which affects the skin and can cause infection
- Red coloured gulal- contains mercury sulphite, which increases the likelihood of skin cancer
- Dried gulal – contains asbestos or silica, which causes problems like asthma, skin tingling and burning sensation.
- Wet paint – has a generic violet, which affects skin tone.
Side-effects of playing with fake colours
Playing Holi with adulterated colours can lead to the problem of dizziness, headache and breathing.
These colours are also capable of causing serious skin complications and allergies.
A lot of harsh chemicals are used in the colours can cause itching and rashes which can lead to eczema or dermatitis. Dry skin allows a lot of scope for damage from these harmful chemicals as the skin layer allows the colour to penetrate easily.
Artificial colours can lead to different types of skin allergies, irritation, redness, rashes, itching and bumps. Side effects include itching, dryness, exfoliation of skin, erosions of skin and eczema. Skin abrasions can occur due to the scrubbing of skin to remove the colours.
Chemical colours when applied to the skin can cause loss of hair (alopecia). Contact of chemical colours in eyes can cause irritation, watering of eyes, corneal abrasions and conjunctivitis.
In rare cases, systemic side effects can occur due to chemicals which can manifest as breathlessness and cyanosis.
Some precautionary measures:
It is difficult to spot the differences between a natural colour and a dye. Taking precautions is, therefore, necessary. Try to use only herbal colours or else home-made colours from kitchen or garden.
- Use home-made colours from kitchen
- Use flowers from the garden like Jungle flame (tesu) flowers, Marigold flowers and beetroot juice
- Use tomato juice and turmeric as colour
Before you go out and play
- Always oil the body with coconut oil, olive oil or vitamin E oil and massage hair with mustard oil
- Oiling at places like behind the ear, between fingertips, near fingernails is very important
- To not let Holi colours go inside nail bed, paint them with the darkest colour possible
- Wear protective glasses or shades or old sunglasses while playing Holi
- Don’t forget to wash your eyes with clean with cold water and see an eye specialist immediately if the irritation persists.
- Stand under running water for a few minutes and make sure you do not scrub or scratch aggressively.
- Use a liquid soap gently and home remedies on the stubborn colours
- The best way to get rid of dark and stubborn colours is by applying lemon juice, curd and sandalwood mixture. Adding turmeric and white flour will also give amazing results.
- For face, use olive oil on cotton to remove Holi colours
We don’t mean to scare you in any way, but we believe in better safe than sorry!
Play safe and have a joyful Holi!!!!