Holi Colors: Types, Chemical Composition & Side Effects

Holi Color Types Side Effects

Holi Colors: Indians celebrate a variety of beautiful festivals every year. One of the Indian festivals is Holi. Holi is a beautiful Hindu festival celebrated in India and Nepal.

Holi is known as the festival of colours. Thus the festival is celebrated with colored powder commonly known as Gulal and water. People use different types of colours for the Holi celebration. Not only humans but pets and animals are also seen coloured during the Holi festival. Some of the food and drink are also prepared with colours and share love and affection with their family, and friends. We can see colourful faces and clothes on our bodies on this day.

But are you aware of the colours having harmful ingredients? Many of us are not aware of the potential side effects of chemically rich colours used on Holi festivals.

Here, we will know the comprehensive details of Holi colours. We will know the types of Holi colours, chemical compositions, and harmful effects in detail. You should be aware of these colours to make the festival safe and healthy for everyone.

Types of Holi Color

Side Effects of Holi Colors

As we get closer to the day of the Holi festival, different types of Holi colours are seen in the market. Do you know how many types of Holi colours are there in the market? Holi colours are mainly available in three forms

  1. Paste Colors
  2. Dry Colors
  3. Wet Colors

Paste Color:

Paste Colors are neither liquid nor solid or dry form. It is prepared by mixing solid and liquid in definite proportions.

Chemical Composition & Side Effects

The metallic pastes are tremendously toxic here is the list of colours and chemicals used and their side effects.

Holi Colors Table 

S.N.Name of ColorsChemical CompositionSide Effects
1.Black ColorLead OxideRenal Failure
2.Green ColorCopper SulphateEye Allergy, Puffiness, and Temporary Blindness
3.Silver ColorAluminum BromideCarcinogenic
4.Blue ColorPrussian BlueContact Dermatitis
5.Red ColorMercury SulphideHighly Toxic can cause Skin Cancer

Dry Color:

In India, Dry colours are commonly known as Gulal. On the day of the Holi festival. it is the main weapon found in every hand. But you should be very careful and know how to use Holi powder.

Chemical Composition & Side Effects

Dry colours are a colourant mixed with a filler base. In chemical colour, these are usually toxic heavy metals and asbestos or silica.

Heavy metals are known to be systemic toxins that disrupt the body’s metabolic functions and body’s vital organs such as the kidney, liver, and bones. 

Asbestos and silica are extremely dangerous for our bodies. Here is the list of chemicals and their side effects on our bodies.

S.N.Name of Heavy MetalsSide Effects
1.LeadLearning Disabilities, Highly toxic for children, affect vital organs and affect the unborn baby
2.ChromiumBronchial Asthma, Allergies
3.CadmiumItai Ita disease (Fragile Bones)
4.NickelDermatitis Pneumonia
5.CopperAffects the eyes, skin, respiratory system, liver, and Kidney
6.MercuryAffect the Kidney, Liver, Nervous System, and Unborn baby
8.IronSkin becomes sensitive to light
9.SilicaSkin dries and chaps
10.AsbestosCarcinogenic in small quantities build up in the body

Water Colors:

Chemical Composition & Side Effects

One commonly available water colourant used during Holi is Gentian Violet, a highly toxic and hazardous chemical. Exposure to Gentian Violet leads to severe skin ailments and eye problems. 


Colors are chemically rich thus we need to keep precautions during the Holi festival celebration. It is important to use natural and organic colours during the Holi festival.

To remain safe from the potential side effects of harmful colors we need to take some precautions during the Holi festival. Holi is a festival of joy and happiness.  To have a safe and healthy festival.

Some of the facts say that the use of colour and Abeer on the body helps to strengthen the ions of the body and add health and beauty to it.

Holi is celebrated to spread love and brotherhood. Holi is celebrated to make others laugh and live their life happily to forget all problems and hurdles for a moment.

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