Friday, 9 August 2013

Iloilo Festival of Colors

CHAMELEON ILOILO FESTIVAL OF COLORS  will be the first in Iloilo  this September 7th. Festivals bring in joy to people, create jobs and make a city interesting---bringing tourists in and inspire others to build happiness among ourselves.

I think the inspiration is from “Holi”  a spring festival celebrated as a festival of colours in India and Nepal. It is a Hindu religious festival which has also become popular with people of other communities. In  the Hindu calendar, Holi is celebrated on the Full Moon which comes in February or March. I have experienced Holi in India while I worked there for years in the past. So I can relate how fun this would be.

NATURAL TO SYNTHETIC. ( As reported by  (  "While the idea is great fun for other cultures,  in the past, natural colours were used  to celebrate Holi safely by applying turmeric, sandalwood paste, extracts of flowers and leaves. 

As the spring-blossoming trees that once supplied the colours used to celebrate Holi have become more rare, chemically produced industrial dyes have been used to take their place in almost all of urban India. 

Due to the commercial availability of attractive pigments, slowly the natural colours are replaced by synthetic colours. As a result it has caused mild to severe symptoms of skin irritation and inflammation. 

In 2001,  they found some toxic chemicals with some potentially severe health impacts. The black powders were found to contain lead oxide which can result in renal failure. 

The prussian blue used in the blue powder has been associated with contact dermatitis, while the copper sulphate in the green has been documented to cause eye allergies, puffiness of the eyes, or temporary blindness.

The colorant used in the dry colors, also called gulals, was found to be toxic, with heavy metals causing asthma, skin diseases and temporary blindness. Both of the commonly used bases—asbestos or silica—are associated with health issues.They reported that the wet colours might lead to skin discolouration and dermatitis due to their use of colour concentrate gentian violet. "

I suggest the colors to be used be skin tested first. Have them taken to a laboratory in Iloilo City to be examined. We can never be sure.  Public safety first. Cheers and enjoy!

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