Brilliant green (dye)

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Brilliant green
Brilliant green (dye) Structural Formula V1.svg
Other names
Malachite green G, Emerald green, Solid green JJO, Diamond green G, Aniline green, Benzaldehyde green, Fast green J
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.010.174
Molar mass 482.64 g/mol
Melting point 210 °C (410 °F; 483 K) (decomposes)
100 g/L a 20 °C
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
☒N verify (what is ☑Y☒N ?)
Infobox references

Brilliant green (also known as Zelyonka) is one of the triarylmethane dyes. It is closely related to malachite green.[1]


Russian "zelyonka"

Brilliant green has been used to color silk and wool.

In Russia and Ukraine (and formerly the USSR) the dilute alcoholic solution of brilliant green is sold as a topical antiseptic, also known under a Latin name Solutio Viridis nitentis spirituosa and a Russian colloquial name зелёнка [zelyonka, lit. an informal colloquialism for "green thing"].[2][failed verification]

Brilliant green is effective against Gram-positive bacteria. The main advantage of brilliant green over the more common antiseptics such as iodine is that it does not irritate mucous membranes as harshly on accidental contact. Soviet medical doctrine deemed it "not for use on mucosa" and cautions that it can cause eye damage and ophthalmic chemical burns, at least in the typical formulations produced for medical use.[citation needed]

Safety and toxicity[edit]

Brilliant green induces vomiting when swallowed and is toxic when ingested.[3] The compound may lead to serious injuries if it comes to contact with the eye, even result in bilateral blindness due to corneal opacification.[4]


In Russia and Ukraine, zelyonka is used to physically attack political opponents.[5] Since 2016, many opponents of the Russian government of Vladimir Putin have been splashed with zelyonka, including Alexei Navalny, Igor Kalyapin, liberal journalists, Nadya Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina, Lyudmila Ulitskaya, Ilya Varlamov and Mikhail Kasyanov.[6]


  1. ^ Gessner, T.; Mayer, U. (2002), "Triarylmethane and Diarylmethane Dyes", Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 6th Edition, Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, doi:10.1002/14356007.a27_179, ISBN 3527306730
  2. ^ Balabanova, Maria; Popova, Liudmila; Tchipeva, Rositsa (2004). "Dyes in dermatology". Disease-a-Month. 50 (6): 270. doi:10.1016/j.disamonth.2004.05.002.
  3. ^ Narat, J. K. (1931). "Brilliant Green: A Clinical Study of Its Value As a Local Antiseptic". Annals of Surgery. 94 (6): 1007–1012. doi:10.1097/00000658-193112000-00003. PMC 1391517. PMID 17866691.
  4. ^ CID 12449 from PubChem
  5. ^ "How the Soviet-Era Antiseptic "Zelyonka" Became a Political Weapon in Russia and Ukraine". 6 May 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Why are Russian opposition leaders' faces turning green?". The Economist. May 10, 2017. Retrieved May 11, 2017.