Sindoor or vermillion is always considered an important part of religious occasions in India, and married women often use it to put a red mark on their forehead. It is used by men and children for religious purposes as well. However, recent research shows that it may be unsafe.
In a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers reported that 83% of the sindoor samples collected from the US in New Jersey, and 78 percent collected from India had at least 1.0 microgram of lead per gram of cosmetic powder. About one-third of the samples exceeded the 20 microgram of lead per gram of cosmetic powder limit imposed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Co-author of the study Derek Shendell, Associate Professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey said that “There is no safe level of lead,” and “That’s why we believe sindoor powder shouldn’t be sold or brought into the United States unless it is lead free,” Shendell said.
The researchers have concluded that it is unsafe for children, saying that there were unsafe levels of lead in it. Lead is a highly toxic poison associated with lower IQ, behavioural problems and growth delays in children who are exposed to it.