Diwali is here, and we bet you are ready to celebrate it with your loved ones with all sorts of festivities planned for the day. Some like to include firecrackers in their Diwali celebrations as they may seem fun, invoke a sense of excitement and fill us with euphoria. But when you look at the side effects of firecrackers on people and the environment around you, you might want to re-think this Diwali ‘ritual’.
Yes, firecrackers look colourful and kids have the time of their lives while playing with them. But maybe it’s time that we explain to them why they are not only hazardous for their own health and the health of their loved ones, but also for nature and animals.
Bursting firecrackers lead to a lot of air pollution. You might have seen the dense clouds of smoke the day after Diwali. Well there is no other reason for it other than crackers. “On burning, firecrackers release toxic air pollutants like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide, trioxygen and black carbon and particulates leading to production of dense clouds of smoke. This affects eyes, throat, lungs, heart and skin,” says Dr Mitali Agrawal, Associate Consultant in the Department of Pulmonology at Max Hospital.
There is no doubt that loud bursting noises of firecrackers lead to noise pollution. This might not affect youngsters as much, but it becomes a nightmare for our elders and young kids. Both groups are known to have sensitive hearing and get affected by these loud noises. Apart from the discomfort, there have been actual cases where people are known to have lost their hearing because of the noise made by firecrackers too.
The concentration of dust increases and so it severely affects those with a history of asthma and allergic bronchitis. “The air pollutants released by them precipitates the underlying chronic respiratory diseases like COPD, ILD thereby increasing the hospitalization rates and medications use. The toxic gasses released can cause severe Reactive Airway Dysfunction (RADS) in absolutely previously healthy people,” says Dr Aggarwal.
As shocking as it might sound, firecrackers can be a possible cause of some cancers too. Dr Aggarwal explains that when firecrackers are made, radioactive and toxic substances are added to create colors on their burst. These substances raise people’s chance of developing cancer when they contaminate the air.
Apart from the stress, fear and anxiety caused to the animals by these sudden and loud bursting of firecrackers, they also happen to experience some extreme reactions to the chemicals in these crackers. Studies have shown that chemicals released in the air by firecrackers lead the animals and birds to feel a burning sensation which even causes some injuries.
So, by stopping the use of firecrackers, you won’t be only taking care of yourself and your family, you will also be helping the environment and animals.
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