Toxic Sindoor classified as Cosmetic

Vermilion or Cinnabar or China Red is Mercuric sulfide or HgS. Like most mercury compounds it is considered toxic. Vermilion is now produced by reacting mercury with molten sulfur. Recently, the Drug Technical Advisory Board has decided to regulate the sale and quality of sindoor. It is being brought under Schedule S of the Drugs and Cosmetics rules, making it a “cosmetic”. This was because, the Drug Controller General of India’s office was receiving complaints regarding the sale of toxic and ecologically-unfriendly sindoor at shrines and retail outlets. Adulterated sindoor contains chemical dyes, synthetic materials and lead salts. In most cases, toxic low-grade commercial red lead oxide was found.

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