Abstract: The optical response of charged polymeric and metallic colloids is investigated using effective medium theories for composite systems of nanoparticles. Based on the Bohren-Hunt theory for generalized Mie scattering from charged particles, an effective quasi-static dielectric function previously obtained is applied to the present study to characterize the response from the various colloidal particles. It is found that such effects are more prominent for polymeric and nonmetallic colloidal solutions in general. In addition, the effects of clustering among the colloidal particles are also studied via a fractal model available from the literature. Detailed numerical studies of the dependence of these effects on the amount of extraneous charge, as well as on the geometry and volume fraction of the colloidal particles are presented.