The festival of colours and joy has finally arrived. While on the positive side you have fond memories of gulal, rain dancing, and pichkaris, but there are other problems which you might face pertaining to skin, hair and eye allergies. Moreover, you can’t just ignore the tons of calories which add up to the bulges. So this Holi, let’s pledge to make it better and ‘swachh’ for everyone around.
No wonder, we love to get soaked in holi colours. But recent studies have shown a negative side of these beautiful colours. It suggests that no matter in what form they are being produced, be it paste, dry colours or water colours, they come with several safety issues. The artificial colours can seriously affect the skin, hair, eyes, lungs, and other body organs. Previously, people used to play holi with natural colours. The motif has completely vanished today.
To have safe Holi, one should avoid using harmful products like oil paints, petrol, mud and other chemical based colours. That’s why natural homemade colours are generally recommended. Just like the good old days, this Holi, make colours at home and celebrate. You can do so by mixing natural colour producing ingredients and make a paste with besan / gram flour and turmeric /haldi etc
Risks of using artificial colours:
• Being highly structured polymers, artificial colours are difficult to decompose biologically. Hence, they prove hazardous to the environment
(both soil and water).
• Prepared using acids, mica, glass powder, alkalis, dolomite, chalk powder, artificial colours are extremely harmful to the body.
• They have lead-oxides present in them which directly affects the kidney and reduce mental growth in children.
• They have harmful elements present in them like chromium, mercury and bromide. While bromide causes cancer, chromium and mercury affect the respiratory
system and eyes, respectively.
How artificial colours affect the body?
One of the most common dangers of using artificial Holi colours is skin damage. Contact dermatitis may happen to the people with delicate skin, eczema or atopic dermatitis if they get exposed to artificial colours. Similarly, if hair gets exposed to them, problems like loss of natural colour, texture, scalp itching may occur which often results in dandruff, split-ends etc. Artificial colours are also harmful to eyes. Problems like conjunctivitis, allergies may result if artificial colours come in contact with eyes. One of the major elements present in these colours is silica which can cause lung- infection. Apart from this, the heavy metals present in Holi colours can harm the immunity system of a person. Out of these heavy metals, lead is the most dangerous as it can affect the physical and mental growth of a person and can have serious implications on the nervous and reproductive system. Moreover, if pregnant women get exposed to the colours containing lead, it can even harm the foetus.
If we talk about particular colours, we will find that the red colour contains mercury which is a very toxic metal. It enters the body through skin and inhalation. It can also pass through the brain and placenta and affect the sensitive organs like kidney, liver etc. Blue colour majorly contains copper and tremendously affects the eyes, respiratory system, and other important functions. It is believed that the more colourful the product is, the more harmful it is for the body.
Let’s play holi with dry colours
You must have seen people throwing small plastic bags and balloons filled with water on each other on Holi. It is a growing trend but it can cause severe repercussions. You may be wondering how? Well, there is no denying the fact that plastics lead to environmental pollution. Not only this, someone can actually get hurt by this. We need to realize that one’s way of enjoyment must not cause any harm to others. Moreover, during Holi, we tend to waste a lot of water in order to remove artificial Holi colours from our bodies. However, wasting water has become a normal scenario these days. Ironically, we owe so much to the “Save Water, Save Life” slogan but we fail to do so, especially on occasions like Holi. The best way to tackle all these problems is to play Holi with dry eco-friendly colours and enjoy to the maximum, keeping intact its grace and elegance.
Let’s play swacch, healthy, and eco-friendly Holi. So this season, let’s pledge to celebrate this beautiful and colourful festival in a delightful and swachh manner and inspire others as well!