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Holi in Odisha
Holi in Odisha

Hazards of a few common Holi colours:

Black – It might contain lead oxide leading to health problems like renal failure and learning disability.
Green – It might contain copper sulphate and can cause problems like eye allergy and temporary blindness.
Purple – It might contain chromium iodide leading to health problems like bronchial asthma and allergies.
Silver – It might contain aluminium bromide, which is carcinogenic.
Red – It might contain mercury sulphite, which can lead to skin cancer, mental retardation, paralysis and impaired vision.
Blue – It might contain Prussian blue, which can cause contract dermatitis.

Other harmful substances found in Holi colours and their health effects are:

• Chromium: Can cause bronchial asthma, allergies.
• Nickel: Can cause dermatitis pneumonia.
• Cadmium: Can cause weak and brittle bones (ItaiItai disease).
• Zinc: Can lead to fever.
• Iron: Can cause skin sensitivity to light.
•Mica (abeer): This is a shiny powder used to give colours a metallic look. It can cause skin allergies and irritation.
Some colours contain oxidized metals and permanent chemical dyes. These colours do not wash off and stay on the skin for several days if they are allowed to dry. They are often referred to as pucca or permanent colours. These colours may also include ingredients like engine oils, grease, chemicals and solvents.

Things to keep in mind before stepping out to play Holi:

Excited about playing with colors? But make sure to protect your skin. This is how you can:
1. Select clothes that will cover maximum parts of your body
2. Apply oil or any other greasy cream on all the exposed parts. This prevents colors from settling down on the skin
3. Keep a soothing lotion like calamine handy. If the skin burns during playing Holi, wash it off and apply calamine lotion or a moisturizer
4. Increase your water intake, both before leaving the house and after coming back. This is to prevent dehydrating of the skin as a result of excessive washing and the chemicals in the colors

After playing Holi, you feel extra tired, so does your skin. The effect of the colors is visible on the skin eve days after Holi. Here are a few things you can do to make your skin feel better.

1. Wash off the colors while wet, makes it easy to wash it off
2. Use lukewarm water to wash your face and apply a smoothing lotion
3. Do not be harsh on your skin. Don’t rub it vigorously with soap. You can use a face cleanser or baby oil to get rid of the colors and follow it with a moisturizer

Don’t worry about the remaining stains, they’ll eventually go away.

In case of any Health related queries, please contact nearest Hospital at the earliest


Dr Jagannatha Acharya on behalf of eOdisha family