Malachite green: a carcinoge

Published: Wednesday 31 January 2001

Malachite green, a mineral banned for human consumption, is a carcinogen. It is used extensively in India in the dyeing of cotton, wool, jute and leather, as well as an antiseptic. The Cancer Research Institute and the Tata Memorial Hospital of India have conducted experiments using malachite green that resulted in malignant transformation of Syrian hamster embryo cells. The chemical, also used surreptitiously in colouring sweets, poses a considerable risk to workers in printing and textile industries ( PTI Science Service , Vol 19, No 23).

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