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

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

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

Types of Holi Color

Side Effects of Holi Colors
Side Effects of Holi Colors

As we get closer to the day of the Holi festival, different types of Holi colors are seen in the market. Do you know how many types of Holi colors are there in the market? Holi colors 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 colors and chemicals used and their side effects.

Holi Colors Table 


Name of Colors

Chemical Composition

Side Effects


Black Color

Lead Oxide

Renal Failure


Green Color

Copper Sulphate

Eye Allergy, Puffiness, and Temporary Blindness


Silver Color

Aluminum Bromide



Blue Color

Prussian Blue

Contact Dermatitis


Red Color

Mercury Sulphide

Highly Toxic can cause Skin Cancer

Dry Color:

In India, Dry colors 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 colors are a colorant mixed with a filler base. In chemical color, 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.


Name of Heavy Metals

Side Effects



Learning Disabilities, Highly toxic for children, affect vital organs and affect the unborn baby



Bronchial Asthma, Allergies



Itai Ita disease (Fragile Bones)



Dermatitis Pneumonia



Affect the eyes, skin, respiratory system, liver, Kidney



Affect the Kidney, Liver, Nervous System, and Unborn baby






Skin becomes sensitive to light



Skin dries and chaps



Carcinogenic in small quantities build up in the body

Water Colors:

Chemical Composition & Side Effects

One commonly available water colorant 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 colors 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.  In order to have a safe and healthy festival.

Some of the facts say that the use of color 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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