Emerging Health Concerns towards Holi Celebrations

A visit to a doctor after the festival of colours is common in India. Diseases, especially of the skin and eye are bound to happen with the quality of colours that are now available in the market. It may be noted that chemical colours came into vogue as they were earlier thought to be harmless. Besides their being convenient and cost effective options as against the natural colours. These days’ manufacturers mix harmful chemicals in colours and play with the health of the consumers for the sake of profit. The chemicals added by them are so injurious that if unfortunately they enter a human body, they may cause fatal infections. These days most Holi colours sold in the market are oxidized metals or industrial dyes mixed with engine oil.



These chemicals are known to cause serious harm to person’s health.

  • Green colour is obtained from copper sulphate -which may cause allergies in eye or even temporary blindness.
  • Purple is obtained from chromium iodide – which may cause bronchial asthma or other forms of allergy.
  • Silver is obtained from aluminum bromide – a known carcinogenic.
  • Black is obtained from lead oxide – may cause renal failures or learning disability.
  • Red is obtained from mercury sulphate – may cause skin cancer or Minamata disease (mental retardation, paralysis, impaired vision…)
  • Shiny Colours are a result of powdered glass being added to the colours.

Many water colours have an alkaline base capable of causing severe injuries. Colours in the form of pastes have toxic compounds mixed in a base of engine oil or other inferior quality oil, capable of causing skin allergy, temporary blindness. When washed, these colours containing toxic chemicals enter the river, thereby soil and water pollution.

Even the way we play Holi is becoming dangerous. Throwing water filled balloons has become rampant, which is very harmful. People should realize, what is fun for them could cause injury to the eyes and ears to the other person, especially when thrown from a distance and with force.