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On June 12, 2019, Health Canada warned Canadians of potential cancer risks associated with gentian violet <ref>Health Canada, "Health Canada warns Canadians of potential cancer risk associated with gentian violet". https://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2019/70179a-eng.php</ref>. Health Canada has completed a safety review of human health products and veterinary drugs containing gentian violet and has found that exposure to these products may increase the risk of cancer. Given the seriousness of this risk, Health Canada is advising Canadians to stop using all human and veterinary drug products containing gentian violet. Health Canada's review was triggered by the World Health Organization's Codex Alimentarius Commission's recommendation on the potential risk of cancer associated with veterinary drug residues in foods, including gentian violet. Although the Commission's recommendations were specific to food residues, Health Canada reviewed the safety of human non-prescription drugs, veterinary drugs and medical devices containing gentian violet. After completing two safety assessments, the Department concluded that, as with other known cancer causing substances, there is no safe level of these products, and therefore any exposure to these products is a cause for concern.
To create the dye for orientation week, a mixture is created consisting of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, water, and gentian violet stirred in a large drum. The alcohol acts as a useful solvent to ensure that the dye will dry more quickly, as well as maintaining the solution’s sterility. The amount of water in the dye determines its strength, and therefore how easy or hard it is to remove it. The less water added to the mixture, the longer it will stay on the skin. The dye used for F!rosh Week is usually composed of one gram of dye per 600 litres of water. At this strength, it tends to come off in a day or two with vigorous scrubbing. However, the nails and hair will remain purple longest, as those cells are very slowly replaced.<ref>Michael Au, "The Science Behind Purple Dye", ''The Cannon''. http://cannon.skule.ca/the-science-behind-purple-dye-3/</ref>.
=== Health Concerns ===
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