Guidelines for safe Holi

NEW DELHI, MARCH 24. To spread awareness about the harmful effects of colours used during Holi, the Society for Prevention of Blindness (India) has issued a set of guidelines for a safe festival.

According to a release issued by the Society, the colours available in the market contain chemicals like lead chromate, which can cause eye irritation, and cobalt nitrate that can result in skin allergies. The bright pink "gulal'' contains lead chromate which can cause eye irritation. Blue has cobalt nitrate that can cause skin allergies and yellow, which is metanil yellow, causes photosensitivity. Green is metachile green or nickel sulphate which causes dermatitis and purple is chromium iodine which is supposed to be carcinogenic, the press release said.

Besides, containing harmful chemicals, the colours are often also mixed with sand, mica, glass, talc and starch. These irritants like sand can cause irritation and if rubbed vigorously can cause removal of sensitive layers of cornea. Glass powder can even cause laceration and conjunctivitis, the released stated.

Issuing guidelines for the public for a safe festival, the Society has asked people to stick to natural colours.

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