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Gulal banned on Rang Panchami in Ujjain: How can you protect yourself from toxic colours? Know here

Rang Panchami brings colorful celebrations but MP bans gulal in temple after fire. Learn about toxic gulal dangers and safety tips for a happy and healthy festival.

Written By: Rahul Pratyush New Delhi Published on: March 27, 2024 14:10 IST
toxic colours
Image Source : GOOGLE Know how can you protect yourself from toxic colours

As we bid adieu to Holi, the vibrant festivities continue with the onset of Rang Panchami in regions like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and other parts of northern India. Occurring five days after Holi, Rang Panchami is observed during the dark fortnight of the Hindu month Chaitra, involving exuberant activities such as playing with colours, music, and dance. Participants joyfully splash coloured water on each other, marking the triumph over tamas and rajas tatva. This festival strengthens communal ties and brings about an atmosphere of jubilation.

However, this year, the Madhya Pradesh government prohibited the use of colours and gulal during the Rang Panchami celebrations on March 30 at the esteemed Mahakaleshwar temple. This action was taken by the state government after a fire incident, which occurred at the revered Shiva temple in Ujjain, where 14 priests, along with servitors, sustained injuries during the 'bhasma aarti' ritual early Monday.

"Every year, Holi is celebrated in Mahakaleshwar Temple by throwing gulal. Maybe, some chemical in the gulal caused the fire....," remarked Madhya Pradesh minister Kailash Vijayvargiya on Monday. He emphasised the commitment to prevent the future use of chemical-laced gulal to ensure safety.

The usage of chemically laced gulal in rituals has come under scrutiny in light of the unfortunate tragedy that occurred on Monday. What are chemically laced gulal, though? Let's examine toxic gulal and the safety measures that should be followed when handling it.

What is toxic gulal?

Toxic gulal, a powdered substance used for vibrant celebrations like Holi, poses potential health risks due to the presence of harmful chemicals or substances. These powders, often brightly coloured, may contain additives such as heavy metals, asbestos, synthetic dyes, mercury, lead and then chromium, which can lead to skin irritation, allergic reactions, or even more severe health issues upon prolonged exposure. As festivities unfold, the unsuspecting use of toxic gulal can inadvertently expose individuals to these hazards, highlighting the importance of understanding and implementing precautionary measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable celebration.

Precautions to take:

Wear protective clothing: Cover exposed skin with long-sleeved shirts, pants, and closed-toe shoes to minimize direct contact with the toxic gulal.

Use gloves: Wear disposable gloves while handling toxic gulal to prevent direct skin contact and minimize the risk of irritation or allergic reactions.

Avoid inhaling: Use a face mask or covering to avoid inhaling the toxic dust particles from the gulal, which can irritate the respiratory system and cause discomfort.

Wash hands thoroughly: After handling toxic gulal, wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly to remove any residue and prevent accidental ingestion or transfer of harmful substances.

Keep away from children and pets: Store toxic gulal out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion or exposure, and supervise their use to ensure safety precautions are followed.


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