This will give you enough reasons to say ‘No’ to crackers this Diwali
Diwali, the festival of lights is the most celebrated festival across India. Diwali is celebrated when Lord Rama returned to his Kingdom Ayodhya, after 14 years of exile and defeating Ravana. The people of Ayodhya welcomed by lighting rows of clay lamps. So, it is an occasion in honor of Rama’s victory over Ravana; a victory over evil.
Diwali is celebrated on the day of Amavasya, a night without the moon in the sky. So, earthen lamps are lit up in order to eliminate darkness.
There is a scientific reason to light earthen lamp during Diwali. Diwali is celebrated just after the rainy season; which is the time for small insects, fungus, and flies to breed. These insects may cause serious diseases. So homes are cleaned and dried before the onset of winter. Lighting earthen lamps and burning crackers produce CO2 and other gases, which heat up the earth’s surface. This process kills insects and flies.
The pace of modernization is becoming so fast that we are not even realizing that we have almost completely replaced our traditional means; so much so that it is influencing the entire ecosystem very badly. The pollution level has gone up over the years. The festival of light and prosperity has now become a festival of noise, hazards, accidents.
Following are few of the areas which are worst hit after the Diwali celebration.
Noise Pollution – The hazards caused by the crackers are hearing loss, high blood pressure, heart attack and sleeping disturbances. If one is exposed to loud noise suddenly, it may cause him temporary deafness or permanent relative deafness. Crackers can create noise pollution up to 170 decibels, whereas the ideal or normal level of sound of firecrackers must be below or around 80 decibels.
Air Pollution – The increasing rate of air pollution is a major concern for everyone across the globe. Many of the Indian cities have Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) – dust, fumes, smoke, and gases above the permissible limits. And it gets a huge jump during the festivals, for burning crackers. Air pollution can lead to lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and allergies. It can also cause acute respiratory infections in children.
Last year on Diwali night, the particulate matter levels in Delhi surpassed even the worst that Beijing has ever experienced. Following is the air quality data analysis done by ‘The Hindu’ on Diwali nights of 2015.
Health Hazards – Out of excitement, people often forget that these crackers are really very hazardous. The smoke of fireworks consists of toxic dusts, which enter into the lungs and can cause a real danger for all; easily affected are children, the elderly, and those sensitive individuals with respiratory conditions. Suspended particulate matter can cause asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory disease. The poisonous gases like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen, etc. can cause serious health issues. Chemicals used in crackers like lead, magnesium, cadmium, nitrate, sodium, and others can have various harmful effects.
When we inhale smoke from firecrackers, it enters into our breathing tube. The chemicals in the smoke irritate the breathing tube, causing inflammation (swelling). Also, careless handling of fireworks causes burn injuries a lot. As an estimate, minor or major injuries resulting from crackers on Diwali increase as much as 200% during the Diwali week.
Animals – The noise of crackers has a terrifying effect on the animals, because they have a far sharper sense of hearing than the humans. Fireworks are no means of celebration for animals, instead they bring confusion, anxiety, and fear among them, whether they are on the streets or as pets in our house.
Expenditures – India is still a developing country, where every 1 out of 3 Indians live below the poverty line. But, the spending reaches the peak during the Diwali season. It’s even very common to see people spending beyond their financial capacity, during Diwali.