Every year, as soon as Diwali comes, the discussion of firecrackers and pollution starts gaining momentum. While many states ban the sale of firecrackers on Diwali, many states allow only green firecrackers. This year also, different states have issued different guidelines on the use of firecrackers. Many states have completely banned firecrackers, while many states have allowed the bursting of firecrackers only for 2 hours.
Banning the use of firecrackers during Diwali raises the question of whether crackers cause pollution? If firecrackers cause pollution, then is it that firecrackers cause maximum pollution? What chemicals are in firecrackers, which are dangerous for your health? And which firecracker spreads how much pollution? Let’s know.
Do crackers cause pollution?
Yes. Firecrackers cause pollution. Firecrackers increase the dust and pollutants present in the air. Also, the different chemicals present in the firecrackers get mixed in the air after the explosion. They not only increase the pollution but also pose a threat to your health.
The air quality has declined after Diwali. This trend has also been seen for the last few years. Pre-Diwali and post-Diwali air quality data from 2018 to 2020 in Delhi shows that the pollution caused by firecrackers has increased.
So are crackers alone responsible for pollution?
No, the biggest cause of air pollution is the smoke and dust emanating from the vehicles plying on the roads. A 2016 study by IIT Kanpur on pollution in Delhi says that the dust and smoke produced by vehicles is the biggest cause of pollution. Its contribution to total pollution is 58%. After that, the major causes of pollution include smoke from houses, industries.
In 2019, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court to ban firecrackers. It was demanded in this petition that the use of firecrackers increases pollution, firecrackers should be completely banned.
In the hearing of the petition, the Supreme Court had said that people seem to have fallen behind firecrackers, while more pollution than firecrackers is spread by vehicles. The court had also expressed concern over the loss of employment due to the ban on firecrackers. “You also have to tell us some way to stop unemployment. We cannot keep people unemployed and hungry,” the court said.
The court had said that if the trade of firecrackers is legal and people have a license to do business, then how can the use and manufacture of firecrackers be stopped?
Firecrackers contain harmful chemicals,
Different chemicals are used for different colours of light in firecrackers. Most of these chemicals are harmful to the environment as well as our health.