Colours can harm, celebrate safe | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Colours can harm, celebrate safe

Many colours used to celebrate Holi are oxidized metals or industrial dyes mixed with engine oil. The doctors say these are toxic and can cause skin allergies, eye irritation and blindness.

delhi Updated: Feb 28, 2010 00:26 IST
Astha Saxena

Many colours used to celebrate Holi are oxidized metals or industrial dyes mixed with engine oil. The doctors say these are toxic and can cause skin allergies, eye irritation and blindness.

“Manufacturers buy the dye used to colour clothes and chemicals from our shop and then they mix it with the colours,” said Prakash Arora, a dealer of chemicals and dyes in Tilak Bazar. “They often mix the dye colours with chalk powder and sand which is very harmful for the skin.”

The dealers, in order to make more profit, compromise with the health of their consumers.

“We buy colours from dealers only. They prepare them using cement, sand, mud and some explosive substances,” said Faim-ud-din, a colour vendor in Tilak Bazaar, the city’s biggest chemical market.

But holi revelers can take heart and make this holi colourful with the natural colours available in the market.

“We prepare colours by taking starch as the base. These colours start fading when they come in contact with sunrays. This is one of the signs of natural colours," said Rajesh Mishra, a Dilli Haat stall owner.

The government too is encouraging the use of such colours through advertisement campaigns and programmes.

The inmates of Tihar jail prepare natural colours that are eco-friendly.