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21 Feb 2024, Edition - 3144, Wednesday

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Increased awareness on organic holi colours brings down skin related issues

Renald A Frank


Coimbatore : With awareness on organic colours high, the number of people coming with after-holi rash and skin conditions are on a decline, say health experts.

Holi has been a part of Indian culture for decades. The festival marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated with people smearing colors on one another.

The reason for celebrating this festival with colors is because the Hindu deity Krishna was dark skinned and to win over the fair skinned Radha he smeared her face with colors. The night before Holi is called Holika Dahan when all evil get destroyed.

People celebrate this festival using organic as well as chemical colors, the latter being not so good. Miss Simpal Raichura, owner of Gujarat Stores located in the city who has been buying and selling colors from Gujarat for the last six years tells us that, “People now are more educated about the benefits of organic colors. Anyone who approaches our shop for purchasing colors enquire if these colors are organic knowing the fact that it is much more costly”. These organic colors are made using natural sources which cause no harm to the skin. When asked if she can give a certificate for what she calls organic colors, the answer was no. We cannot produce a certificate, it all works on trust and word of mouth said, Miss Simpal. The orange color available is made from a flower called Kesuwun in Gujarat which when plucked from the tree directly and put in water changes the color of the water completely. The sales of 2018 according to her was comparatively less than last year for which the depleting ground water levels are a reason.

Places like Thudiyalur receive drinking water only once in 20 days which makes it difficult for residents. Residents also complain that drinking water should be given more frequently since the water quality goes down drastically after 3-4 days inspite of boiling.

Dr. Parthiban a Dermatologist says, “People should not stay for long with the chemical laden colors smeared upon them; they should take a shower after sometime which will prevent them from getting skin problems. According to him not everyone is allergic to these chemical mixed colors and that the allergies could be in the form of rashes,swollen skin or itching which could be severe or mild depending upon the individual”.

The chemical colors combination include Lead Oxide for Black color, Copper Sulphate for Green color, Chromium lodide for Purple color, Aluminium Bromide for silver color and Mercury Sulphite for Red color.

When asked how many cases he had witnessed in the year 2018, the number was stated to just two while in 2017 it was three. The treatments for skin allergy could take between 2-7 days depending upon the individual, he added.

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