By Priyadarshini Piramal

Firecrackers are colourful explosive materials that you burst in the air to enjoy festivals. It’s most commonly used to celebrate the festival Diwali. First, the number of fireworks we used in this Diwali is a tremendous amount and of 40 different types.

Firing crackers on Diwali enhance the compression of dust and pollutants in the air.

In India, we burn more than 40 recognised and dangerous forms of firecrackers, one louder than the other and all of them releasing toxic fumes into the already dense air. The situation worsens with vehicular pollution and smoke from open burning. The greenhouse effect blocks the dispersal of smoke and pollutants, giving rise to stubborn and toxic smog.  

Firing crackers on Diwali enhance the compression of dust and pollutants in the air. After firing, the fine dust particles get settled on the surrounding surfaces which are packed with chemicals like copper, cadmium, zinc, lead, magnesium, sodium and endangers the environment like oxides of sulfur and nitrogen. These transparent particles affect the environment and in turn, put our health at stake.

There are some chemicals added to firecrackers that affect you:

Copper: Irritates the respiratory tract. – the passage formed by the mouth, nose, throat, and lungs, through which air passes during breathing.

Cadmium: Leads to anaemia by reducing the capacity of blood to carry oxygen.

Zinc: Can cause metal fume fever and induces vomiting.

Lead: Harms the nervous system.

Magnesium: Magnesium fumes cause metal fume fever.

Sodium: It is a highly reactive element and caused burns when it is combined with moisture.

Not only humans but animals also have a more sensitive hearing and when they hear a firecracker, it affects their senses ten times more than it does for us. Research studies show that the loud sounds of fireworks do hurt wild animals as well as domestic animals. … This fear often causes them to flee into roadways which results in more vehicle damage (from large animals such as deer) and an increase in dead animals.

Delhi is already the most polluted city in the world. During our last Diwali pollution measuring stations reached their upper limit, 999 of 2.5PM particles. Some of them even broke down. We are not far away from a dystopian future where Indian citizens have to work in their cities with gas masks on their faces.

Let’s help ourselves for the better and stop pollution, once and for all.

A collection of articles by the students of Ascend International School