Please refer to Is Diwali transforming from the festival of light & joy to the festival of pollution & destruction? : Diwali special for more details on the ill effects of crackers & the consequences of global warming.
After a year of waiting, Diwali arrived. Everyone’s house would be lighted up with lamps & joy. Almost everyone loves celebrating Diwali. Though I’m an atheist, I also like this festival as it lights up the world. But along with bit happiness for the arrival of Diwali, I get lots of worry every year. Whatever you say, Diwali, along with bunch of other festivals & functions, are tagged with some key words – crackers, pollutions, global warming & noise. However we celebrate this Diwali; we can’t remove these tags from the festival.
I remember last year I had posted a post on why not to use crackers in Diwali & other festivals. Do you remember that? It was – Is Diwali transforming from the festival of light & joy to the festival of pollution & destruction? : Diwali special. In that post, I had explained in details how firecracker, which is generally ignored as the cause of global warming, is affecting our climate & contributing to global warming. I don’t know if you’ve stopped using cracker by reading that post. Or even if you’ve ever gone through it completely!! But whether one ignores its bad effects or not, it’ll certainly contribute to the world climate change, & the unfortunate fact is that we can easily stop using crackers without any problem & reduce CO2 emission, but despite this, we’re wasting millions on it every year without any meaning & hurting the planet.
As the world is getting more & more educated & civilized, we’re doing more & more meaningless & uncivilized works. Today, using cracker is becoming a fashion. Millions are spent on this worthless garbage stuff. Bursting crackers is turning to a competition & a status indicator. Many people feel proud to show off their wealth by investing thousands or even lakhs on this non-sense stuff. Though I’ve used Diwali here as it’s a major event in India when considerable amount of crackers are used, in almost every event today, we wildly use crackers. I really don’t understand why even educated persons do not understand the ill effects of global warming. It’s a SHAME on our education.
Many of you may think why I am behind crackers so much. The reason is that crackers are something which, if we don’t use, will not affect our daily lives anyway. It’s nothing more than garbage. Then, why to use such a thing & hurt the entire planet & ourselves?
It is estimated that the annual U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fireworks is 60,340 tons or the same emissions from 12,000 cars on the road for a year!! If one suggests that planting trees is a solution, then, please be informed that it’d take the entire lifetime of 5,000 trees to offset the 60,000 tons of carbon emissions produced in this one day!! Not only it pollutes the environment, it also causes many deadly air-borne diseases. It releases carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide to the atmosphere with serious health hazards.
Despite knowing all these things, why to use crackers? As discussed in Is Diwali transforming from the festival of light & joy to the festival of pollution & destruction? : Diwali special, other sources of global warming are those which are important for our living or to fulfill our basic needs. Most of the causes of global warming are energy producers without which we can’t live. In fact, researches are going on on producing eco-friendly energy sources. When we’re uniting together to save this planet from global warming, then, why to put this garbage stuff in the equation?
The only condition for using crackers is the eco-friendly, carbon free, noiseless crackers which don’t affect us anyway. Still, it’s economically a waste, as it gives only ashes, & its prices are soaring up.
However you describe the ill effects of crackers, every time you’d get something very bad or simply, worst. Crackers are unnoticeably affecting all of us. We should understand what it’s doing & how it’ll threaten our very existence in future. Governments should take it very seriously & should:
- ban the production of crackers
- enforce laws on its production, sales, use, & advertisement
- popularize the idea of not using crackers among public
There’re a lot of causes of global warming & pollution. All the other sources are important for our living despite their ill effects. But cracker is absolutely nothing more than garbage. Be smart, be civilized, use your knowledge, don’t worry about what others think, don’t care about society, & DON’T USE CRACKER.
With all these, wish you all a happy Diwali. Celebrate Diwali & all the other festivals & events in eco-friendly way without using crackers. Share this message with others & contribute towards a safer & healthier earth.
Copyright©2011-12 Sandeep Deva Misra
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Effects of Diwali on Environment
Due to large scale of bursting firecrackers during this festival it releases harmful gases and toxic substances into the atmosphere, loud noises from loudspeakers and firecrackers, dry waste causing health problems for children, patients and senior citizens. They also cause Burns, deafness, Nausea and mental impairment. Many people die in explosions in factories which manufactures firecrackers.
From Darkness to Light or from light to Darkness
Diwali is called as festival of lights. It is very widely celebrated festival in India. Usually Diwali festival falls between October-November of Gregorian calendar. It has been celebrated from ancient time as mentioned in Ramayana and Mahabharata mythologies.
Diwali Celebration (from Darkness to Light)
Effects of Fireworks in Diwali
It is celebrated by cleaning and decorating homes, visiting relatives and exchanging gifts, Sweets etc. It is believed that Buying gold in Diwali is a good sign. Many people do pooja in these days in their homes. Roads and homes are lighted /decorated by oil lamps and festive lights.
And most importantly fireworks are set off by children for celebrations. The commonly used types of fireworks in celebrations are Rockets, Roman Candles, Sparkles, and Wheels etc.
Effects of Fireworks on Environment (from light to darkness)
On this auspicious occasion unknowingly harmful gases and toxic substances released to environment by bursting fireworks such as Barium, Cadmium, Sodium, Mercury, Nitrate and Nitrite. These are called as Air pollutants. Also RSPM level goes high as small particles emitted by bursting of fireworks. RSPM means Respirable Suspended Particulate Material. Also need of electricity goes high in this period. To overcome shortage of electricity majorly electricity generated by using diesel, Coal etc. that also causes air pollution.
Read more how to reduce particulate matter to reduce pollution
Bursting of fireworks not only causes air pollution but also Noise pollution. Also because of happiest festival many people use loudspeakers, loud musical instruments and advertisements that causes noise pollution. Level of noise level can go beyond 125 dB which is as loud as Military jet aircraft take-off, whereas government limits Noise level at 55dB in daytime and 45dB at night for residential area. These type of noises are very harmful for new-born babies.
Read here how Noise or sound level is monitored ?
With happiness it also brings Dry waste like papers, plastics, firework covers. Massive amount of non-degradable dry waste generated in Diwali celebration. It causes Soil pollution as less space for dumping ground in major cities.
Health effects of Fireworks
In these five days Fireworks are handled by kids and due to their poisonous nature many children fall ill. Poisonous gases may cause fever, Skin irritation, vomiting, Effects of Fireworks on lungs, insomnia, heart, asthma and bronchitis. Also many children face accidents due to mishandling of fireworks and it causes burning, cutting. Also it has been observed that mortality and morbidity rate increased in Diwali period because of SPM, RSPM and other harmful gases released in environment.
Loud noise of fireworks causes Temporary deafness, permanent Eardrum rupture, trauma and hypertension.
Learn Why and how Noise Impact Assessment is required for New or existing projects?
Other effects of Fireworks
Also these fireworks made by people and children are exposed to poisonous metals like lead, mercury, Nitrate and Nitrite. Due to this they face health issues and die in early stage of their lives. Also due to high demand of fireworks small kids are also work for 12 hrs in a day for fireworks companies before Diwali.
Alternate ways to celebrate Diwali
We should think twice before buying fireworks in Diwali. Is this the only way to celebrate Diwali? Instead of spending too much on fireworks and considering effects of fireworks on health and environment we can buy gifts, books, gadgets or cloths which are less harmful for nature as compared to firecrackers. We can donate books or clothes for poor students. Also can conduct various competitions on environmental awareness.
Pollution free firecrackers are available but they are very costly and can’t fulfil the demand. In U.S. after studying effects of it on human health they have shifted to laser shows instead of using traditional firecrackers .
From darkness to light or from light to darkness
Before using fireworks we should ask ourselves that are we actually going from darkness to light by using them or from light to darkness?
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