holi colors pic

Organic vs chemical color effects on health in Holi

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  1. India is the country of festival and there are few festivals which are celebrated on a really large scale. Holi is one of those festivals. Holi is celebrated not only in India but other parts of worlds also, specially where the Indian population is more.

Festivals are strongly attached to the health. In today’s time many business people misuse the celebration for there business  profit and do adulteration in products to be used during festivals.

Holi also comes under this list. So, we need to be aware of these things and should use our knowledge to avoid it’s dangerous effects on our health.

So in this article I will tell you the ingredients of chemical colors, their harmful effects and how you can replace them with organic or natural colors easily.

हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिए यहां क्लिक करें

“At the end of this article I will also give you reference for natural/Organic colors to buy and prepare.”

Organic Vs Chemical color:

I will give you this comparison in the following table for a quick view. After this you can read the explanation for each one.

Organic vs chemical colors

Let’s start from the chemical colors.

Chemical colors:

These colors are synthetically made with the help of various chemicals. These are produced in the factory and widely available in the market.

Reason behind use of chemical colors:

Mainly, below reasons are responsible for the use of chemical colours-

  1. Cost effective
  2. Easily available
  3. Less effort

Chemicals used for colors and their effects:


Black colours are made from a dangerous chemical called Lead oxide. This can cause Kidney failure, Respiratory diseases and skin diseases.

In study it has been proved that Lead oxide (PbO), which is used for black color in holi, can penetrate the skin very easily and even washing can not decrease skin absorption occurring over 24 hours.

Click on link to read the study research.


Mostly, Copper Sulphate and Nickel sulfate is used for green colour. It can cause irritation in eyes followed with temporary blindness and vomiting also. Copper Sulphate (CuSO4). Click to read study.


Prussian blue and zinc salt is used to obtain blue color. This can cause dermatitis and allergies. It is also used in oil paint. It does not harm our body in low concentration but silica base used with it makes this chemical color more toxic.


Metanil yellow and Sunset Yellow FCF are used for this purpose. Metanil yellow is a banned food color which can cause neurotoxicity. Read reasearch paper here.


Silver color is made with Aluminium Bromide, which is a carcinogenic (cancer causing agent) on skin. It can cause Shortness of breath and throat irritation if ingested. Read the research article here.


Mercury Sulphite and Lead chromate is responsible for this colour. This is very toxic to the skin and can cause neuro degeneration. Read more about it in this article.

Other chemicals:

Powdered form of glass has been used in dry colours like gulaal to provide shining. This is really toxic for metabolic organs of human body like liver, kideny and eyes.

Silica is used for base material in these colours. It can cause skin disease and rashes.

Also, Methyl Violet for purple color and Rhoda mine B is used for for pink color. Both are very toxic chemicals.

Natural colors:

Naturals colors obtained from nature directly. These are free from any chemical. There appearance only has been changed for the ease of use.

Reason behind less use of natural colors:

  1. A bit costly
  2. Hard to find in market
  3. Take effort to make at home
  4. Lack of knowledge

How to find Natural colors for holi:

Best thing is to prepare it by yourself at home.

Red: Beetroot will give very nice texture of red and pink colour

Yellow: With a proper blend of Gram flour and Turmeric

Blue: It can be made by indigo plants and blue hibiscus

Green: Spinach and Mehandi are perfect to give you this colour

Black: It can be obtain from black grapes

Apart from this many others ingredients can be used to make natural colours. I will not tell you how to prepare these colours because there are many blogs and videos already available on the internet.

Other methods to obtain organic colors:

However, if you do not have time to put efforts in making natural colors then you can buy it from market.

I know it’s a bit difficult to prepare colors at home due to lack of time but there are organic colors available in the market also. You just need to pay attention on its ingredient list while purchasing.

You can buy it online as well. Below is an affiliate link for your reference-

Also, you can prepare them easily by mixing with edible organic food colors. These colors are used in various recipes.

Benefits of Natural or organic colors:

  1. Eco friendly
  2. Skin friendly
  3. No pollution
  4. Easy to remove from skin
  5. Non toxic

I hope you find this information helpful.

No Disease Corner wishes you a wonderful and safe Holi. Take care of your near and dear. Please share the positive information and spread the awareness.

Vinay Dubey

A Health care professional and Pharmacologist with an aim of sharing my knowledge about health and lifestyle to everyone. Specially, I want to empower people from non medical background, with the knowledge that how daily lifestyle and medicines can affects their health. Also, to let them know how they can play an important role in the life cycle of a medicine.


  1. Thanks bro for sharing this useful information.

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