Over the years, with the gradual disappearance of these trees, esepcially from urban areas, and with the development of the industrial dye industry, natural Holi colours came to be replaced by cheaper, brighter, industrial dyes which were not developed for human use, definitely not for use as Holi colours.
Synthetic Holi colours contain cheap, toxic substances which affect human health including mica, acids, alkalis, pieces of glass, etc. The mildest forms of adverse health effects include hair and skin problems like abrasions, irritation, itching, rashes, allergies, eye infections, hair roughness, etc. whilst the more serious forms include poisoning, impaired vision, respiratory problems and cancer. The risks increase when these colours are mixed with oils and fluids and applied to the skin.
These chemical colours are usually sold loose in the market and consumers have little or no information about the source of the colours, or their harmful effects. Even when sold in a packaged form with a clear sign indicating these colours are ‘for industrial use only’, consumers do not understand the implications.
A new trend of late is to market relatively non-toxic chemical dyes as eco-friendly Holi colours. Whilst these may be safer than the regular chemical colours, they are by no means natural or 100% safe or biodegradable, even when mixed to edible fillers like flours or starch. In addition to effects on human health, chemical Holi colours also affect our environment, poisoning our soil and water and remaining there for centuries. For still more information on the nastiness of chemical Holi colours, please click here
Satavic Farms has been experimenting with natural Holi colours since 2008. During 2009 Holi, we distributed 25 kgs. of natural, toxic-free Holi colours free for trialling. Since 2010, our colours have been distributed through schools and other instututions, shops, apartment complexes, etc.
In our own small way, we have touched the lives of thousands of children and their families, besides doing our bit for the environment by the colours and their biodegradable, plastic-free packaging.
Please click here for more information on Sattvic Holi colours