Engineers find safe alternative to purple dye said to increase risk of cancer

Health Canada issued its warning about gentian violet on June 12 and advised Canadians to cease all use of the chemical given the “seriousness of the risk.”
Journal File Photo

Ahead of Orientation Week, the Engineering Society has found an alternative to gentian violent—the purple dye Health Canada warned could increase the risk of cancer—for the Society’s tradition of ‘purpling.’

EngSoc will now provide a purple alcohol-based body paint called ProAiir Professional, which is used widely in television and movies, according to a statement provided to The Journal by Delaney Benoit, the Society’s president.

Benoit said the alternative, funded in part by the AMS Sustainability Action Fund, will ensure Engineering Society orientation traditions “can continue safely.”

She added that ProAiir is quick-drying, smudge-proof, waterproof, and can be worn with sunscreen.

“The alternative was made possible with support from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science,” she wrote. “The Engineering Society is excited for both the returning and incoming students to arrive on campus and looks forward to continuing our traditions.”

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