Only Green firecrackers this Diwali
By Rashi Agarwal
On Tuesday, 23 rd October, the Supreme Court of India directed that only green firecrackers
would be sold in the country, in order to check the air pollution due to bursting them.
It, however, refused to impose a blanket ban on firecrackers. Even online sale of the same was
restrained through e-commerce websites like Amazon and Flipkart. This order will be
applicable throughout the country.
Selling of ‘larries’ or series firecrackers will not be allowed. Bursting of firecrackers will be
allowed only for two hours between 8 pm and 10 pm on Diwali, that too in designated
areas. For New Year and Christmas celebrations, bursting will be allowed between 11.45 pm
and 12.30 am.
How does bursting of firecrackers affect the environment?
Bursting of firecrackers leads to a rise in air pollution, as the air quality falls to “very poor”
levels. There is a marked rise in the levels of PM10 and PM2.5, which cause or increase
health hazards such as asthma, coughing, bronchitis, nervous system breakdown and
cognitive impairment. Aluminium in firecrackers can cause skin problems, while barium salts
emit poisonous gases leading to respiratory problems. Noise pollution due to firecrackers
has also been a key concern.
What are Green Crackers?
Green Crackers are “reduced emission crackers”, that cause 30-35% lower emission of
particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) and 35-40% lower emission of sulphur dioxide (SO2)
and nitrogen oxide. The products have low content of aluminium. Use of barium salt and ash
as a drying agent is banned for such crackers.