‘Bursting crackers may lead to serious health issues’

Many may like to celebrate their Diwali with bursting of crackers, however, in view of experts, bursting of crackers can affect your health adversely.

The air quality of Delhi on days of Diwali on the basis of PM 2.5 (µgm-3) would be more than 400 during Diwali, which is a critical limit according to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). According to Dr Beig of SAFAR: “PM 2.5 affects the lungs of people and the limit of 260 or above is considered severe.”

Anand Vihar, which is the most polluted area of Delhi, will have concentration of gases like Nitrogen Dioxide during Diwali time at 185.40 µg/m3, Carbon Monoxide at 5.40 mg/m3 much above the prescribed standards of 80 µg/m3 and 0.4 mg/m3 according to the DPCC data.

“Most of the firecrackers, in absence of new mandated guidelines, exceed the limits of nitrate, aluminum powder and heavy metals like cobalt, copper and magnesium which has serious effects in the health of people using them” claims Polash Mukherjee, Research associate, CSE.

Mukherjee states:”Even though The Central Pollution Control Board had mandated in 2013 that smoke emissions and sound levels from the firecrackers must not exceed the Ambient air quality standards and Ambient noise standards, it has not been implemented well.”

Even as a sound limit of 125 decibels has been set by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO), many firecrackers manufacturers flout the norms. Citing the example of Bengal which has reduced the sound limit of crackers to 90 decibels, Mukherjee mentioned: “Reduction in sound limits in crackers also results in reduction of chemical composition of harmful materials present in crackers resulting in less air and sound pollution.” 
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