While the festival of lights is all set on the calendar, every individual welcomes this bright festival with grandeur, diyas, rangolis and crackers. The year 2017 is a bit different. You will have to make sure; you do not include crackers in your checklist for Diwali. Let us first try to know, why firecrackers are so harmful. What goes within the cracker or the ingredients of the crackers that actually add up to the atmospheric pollution?
The six important components of firecrackers are Oxidisers, colouring agents, binders, regulators, reducing agent and fuel. Let us individually understand the harmful effect of a few components.
1. OxidisersThe main function of the oxidizing agent is to produce oxygen that is required for the firework to burn. The types of oxidising agents used are nitrates, chlorates and perchlorates. Perchlorate is a very toxic compound not when it is released, but later when it combines with the water and soil. It causes harm to the thyroid gland when consumed by human beings indirectly.
2. Colouring AgentsYou must be stunned at the sight of those colourful showers in the sky while they sparkle their glory in little circumferences.
Do you know what those colours actually are?
The following data will help you understand the colour in the fireworks
● Strontium- Red
● Copper- Blue
● Barium- Green
● Sodium- Yellow/Orange
● Calcium- Orange
● Aluminium- White
These metals along with their salts (Metal salts) impart colour to the fireworks.
● Copper- Causes irritation in the lungs and respiratory tract and also cancer.
● Aluminium causes contract dermatitis and bio-accumulation. It also causes bronchoconstriction in individuals.
● Barium chromate and Barium Nitrate are extremely toxic for living cells and genes.
● Strontium compounds are toxic and can replace calcium in the body.
● Nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide are highly toxic if inhaled.
3. BindersBinder is something that holds the mixture of the fireworks and are made up of Dextrin. Dextrin is a type of starch which holds this composition together. These binders come into action only when the firework is set up. They also help to enhance the existing colour of the fireworks. They are potentially very dangerous as they are unstable for storage.
4. FuelThe commonly used fuel is charcoal in pyrotechnic composition. This composition leads to an exothermic reaction and hence the effect of light, sound and smoke.
Overall Harmful Effects Of FireworksApart from generating thick smoke in the sky, fireworks do the following:
● Irritation in the lungs and respiratory tract of children
● Throat, nose and eye-related health hazard
● Largely affects people with Heart, lung and nervous diseases
● Aggravates cough related problems and allergies
● Not only do they affect human beings, but also the environment and animals
Considering the above effects and the spike to the existing air pollution, the Supreme Court in India has decided to take up a measure against this menace by banning the use of Fireworks in Delhi NCR.
With increasing pollution in India, we surely do not want a happy festival to add to one of these harmful causes. Hence we as the citizens of this country and as a responsible individual must withdraw ourselves from the use of firecrackers.