Diwali brings immense excitement and a sense of celebration. Though Diwali is indeed a festival of lights, but over the years it has become a festival of Firecrackers and lights. Now it is time to realize that fireworks can illuminate the entire sky above our house for a few moments but in the long run can adversely affect our environment and our health.
The bursting of firecrackers on Diwali increases the concentration of dust and pollutants in the air. After firing, fine dust particles accumulate on the surrounding surfaces, which are filled with chemicals such as copper, zinc, sodium, lead, magnesium, cadmium, and pollutants such as oxides of sulfur and nitrogen. These invisible yet harmful particles affect the environment and, in turn, put our health at stake.
Here’s how the chemicals used in crackers affect our health:
→ Copper: affects the respiratory tract.
→ Cadmium: Decreasing the ability of the blood to carry oxygen leads to anemia.
→ Zinc: Metal fume can cause fever and induce vomiting.
→ Lead: Damage to the nervous system.
→ Magnesium: Metal fume fever is caused by magnesium smoke.
→ Sodium: It is a highly reactive element and burns when combined with moisture.
Potential health risks resulting from firecrackers
Concentrated smoke emanating from small sparklers and flowerpots can affect the respiratory tract, especially young children.
Smoke polluting the air can make the condition of people suffering from colds and allergies. It also causes congestion of the throat and chest.
During Diwali, the level of suspended particle increases. When people are exposed to these pollutant particles, they may suffer from problems related to the eyes, nose and throat.
Air and noise pollution caused by firecrackers can affect people with heart, respiratory and nervous system related disorders.
When firecrackers burst, radioactive and toxic elements are used to create color. When these compounds pollute the air, they increase the risk of cancer in people.
Harmful smoke can cause miscarriage while bursting firecrackers. Therefore, pregnant women are advised to stay at home when firecracker firing is at its peak.
Exposure to harmful chemicals while bursting firecrackers can inhibit growth in children and increase their toxic levels in the body.