One of them, the more scientific one, is that the fumes produced by the crackers would kill insects and mosquitoes found after the rains.
Today, simple sparklers have given way to elaborate fireworks that can light up the entire sky above your home. Unfortunately the fumes that these crackers produce are harmful to the the environment and us.
Copper: Causes irritation in the respiratory tract.
Cadmium: Reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of blood, leading to anaemia.
Lead: Lead in the body has a harmful effect on the nervous system.
Magnesium: Magnesium fumes cause a condition known as metal fume fever.
Zinc: Causes metal fume fever and also induces vomiting.
Sodium: Sodium is a highly reactive element and combines with moisture to cause burns.
FIRECRACKERS AFFECT OUR HEALTH
The bursting of crackers during Diwali is primarily responsible for an increase in concentration of dust and pollutants. The fine dust that settles after bursting crackers is rich in pollutants like oxides of sulphur and nitrogen, metal dust and organic pollutants.
- Even the tiny sparklers, torches and flower pots which are otherwise considered to create no noise at all generate thick smoke that can affect the respiratory tract of young children.
- The suspended particulate matter (SPM) levels rise significantly during Diwali. This causes throat, nose and eye related problems which can later develop into adverse health issues.
- Firecrackers have much more severe effects in people with heart, respiratory or nervous system disorders.
- They can aggravate problems for people suffering from colds, allergies or coughs and can also cause congestion of the throat and chest.
- They can also cause water contamination and acid rains.
- They result in air pollution that creates carcinogenic Sulphur compounds and airborne arsenic effect.
- The green light produced in fireworks displays comes from barium, which is radioactive and poisonous. The blue colour produced from copper compounds comes from dioxins linked to cancer.
FIRECRACKERS AFFECT THE ENVIRONMENT
Fire Hazards: Sometimes rockets set fire to huts, heaps of dry grass and even houses.
Noise Pollution: Firecrackers make more noise than the allowed decibel limit.
Air Pollution: Smog caused by firecrackers is harmful when inhaled. It also causes reduced visibility.The Central Pollution Control Board of India has also banned firecrackers with a decibel level of more than 125 at a distance of 4mts from the bursting point.
FIRECRACKERS AFFECT ANIMALS
- The sound of bursting crackers can be quite traumatic to pets, as they cannot bear loud sounds.
- We know that dogs have an incredible hearing ability and they can detect sounds that cannot be heard by human beings. Shakuntala Majumdar, President of the Thane Society for Protection of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) says, "Their actual frequency range is 67Hz to 45kHz as compared to the human ear's range of 20kHz. Thus firecrackers with low decibels can affect their temperament."
Did You Know:
Most fireworks are made by factories that employ children as labourers. These young children are forced to handle the toxic substances that go into these firecrackers. As a result, they contract diseases associated with these substances. Limited access to medical aid means that many of them die in their teens.
PRECAUTIONS YOU NEED TO TAKE
- Try to avoid use of firecrackers.
- Use firecrackers that are less noisy.
- Do not try to light a firecracker in your hand.
- Take your pet to a vet if he/she is a over-sensitive. The doctor may give your pet some anti-anxiety drugs to reduce his/her fear.
- Create a safe place for the pet to hide from frightening noises such as under the bed.
- Try to distract your pets with any activity that keeps them occupied. Their favourite game or a chew toy can help.