Sindoor may contain unsafe lead levels: Study

Sindoor, a powder widely used in Hindu religious ceremonies, may contain unsafe levels of lead which is associated with lower IQ and growth delays in children, a study of samples from India and the US has found

Researchers from Rutgers University in the US reported that 83 per cent of the samples collected from the US and 78 per cent collected from India had at least 1.0 micrograms of lead per gram of the cosmetic powder

Meanwhile, 19 per cent of the samples collected in New Jersey and 43 per cent of the samples collected from India exceeded the 20-microgramme of lead per gram of cosmetic powder limit imposed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

“There is no safe level of lead. That’s why we believe sindoor powder shouldn’t be sold or brought into the US unless it is lead free,” said Derek Shendell, associate professor at Rudgers

Researchers tested 118 samples of sindoor, a scarlet- coloured powder that is used by women to place a bindi, or red dot, cosmetically on their foreheads

Married women also put it in their hair parting and it is used by men and children for religious purposes
The results indicated about one-third of the samples, which include 95 from South Asian stores in New Jersey and 23 from stores in Mumbai and New Delhi in India, contained lead levels above the limit set by the US FDA

“Sindoor and Kajal are well known to contain lead and other heavy metals with risk of kidney, hepatic, skin disorders. Risk of heavy metals on skin leads to DNA damage, Kertaodermas and skin ulceration, nail and teeth changes,” said Dr Nitin S Walia, Senior Consultant, Dermatology, BLK Super Speciality Hospital

Problem is throughout Asia especially India, Pakistan, Middle East, SE Asia.

Sindoor is originally made from Turmeric but synthetic Sindoor is made from highly toxic chemicals such as Mercury Sulfide known as Vermilion and Lead Tetroxide known as Red Lead.

Neelikon has high quality low impurity cosmetic colours under brand name “Lavanya” which are increasingly preferred by cosmetic producers in India to use in traditional Indian products like Sindoor, Kumkum, Kajal etc.

Neelikon take care of adulteration of these toxic heavy metals such as Lead, Arsenic, Mercury, Cadmium etc. by adopting GMP and stringent Quality Control throughout the manufacturing process.

Neelikon’s state of the art Laboratory is capable for detection of such heavy metals at PPB level by using highly sophisticated instrument called as Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OES).

Neelikon is offering following colours for Sindoor and Kumkum

Colours for Sindoor/ Liquid Kumkum Application

Shade Lavanya Name Code No.
Red Lavanya Zuni 111 P 02 00
Lavanya Viola 031 P 02 00
Lavanya Indica 032 P 02 00
Lavanya Roseum 036 P 02 00
Brown Lavanya Glory 037 P 02 00
Yellow Lavanya Revolutum 107 P 02 00
Blue Lavanya Aasmani 092 P 03 02
Lavanya Belmont BG 068 P 02 00
Pink Lavanya Evelyn Lake 348 L 02 00
Black Lavanya Kokila 118 P 02 00
Green Lavanya Decorum 069 P 02 00
Orange Neelilake Sunset yellow lake 302 L 02 02
White Lavanya Chaandni 098 P 02 00

Products for powder Kumkum Application

Shade Lavanya Name Code No.
Red Lavanya Indica 032 P 02 00
Neelicol Scarlet PSY 504 PB 04 02
Neelicol Red 010 010 P 02 00
Neelicol Pinkish Red 011 011 P 02 00
Brown Lavanya Glory 037 P 02 00
Lavanya Rose Pink 138 P 02 00


Although based on our general experience, the information presented herein is believed to be reliable, Neelikon makes no representation or guarantee as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information. Due to various factors that are outside our control, we cannot accept liability from reliance on this information for any circumstances.

Resource: PTI (Press Trust of India)–study

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