Holi colours can aggravate health complications: Docs
New Delhi: Holi is one occasion in India when people do not mind being smeared with colors but doctors warn that in absence of proper safeguards, these colors might do more harm than good and dampen the festive mood. They also favored that a robust regulatory mechanism should be in place to check the components used in preparing these colors and use of labels in organic colors for the benefit of the user.
"Dry colors or gulals have two components – a toxic colorant and a base which could either be asbestos or silica, both of which can cause health hazards. Silica in artificial colors may dry or chap the skin and cause lung infections while asbestos, when enters the lung, can result in lung cancer. Gulals are also high on heavy metals such as lead, chromium, cadmium, nickel, mercury, zinc and iron. While chromium may cause bronchial asthma and allergies, nickel may cause dermatitis and pneumonia and iron makes skin more sensitive to light exposure, said
"We receive around 20 to 25 patients in the OPD just before and after the Holi festival with complaints of breathing issues, skin irritations and rashes. It is advisable that one should take adequate precaution to guard themselves. Asthma patients should follow the medication regime for a week in the run-up to the festival. While playing with colors be careful that you do not inhale it anyway. One should also apply a thick layer of cream or lotion to ensure that the color does not stick to the skin or bruise it. Whether dry or wet, if anything goes into the eyes during Holi, make sure a lot of fresh water is splashed to wash away the irritant," said Dr. Amitabha Ghosh.