Diwali is a festival of joy, light and splendour. Its in our hands to celebrate it in a safe and green way.
- The poisonous chemical mix discharged from fire crackers affect people with asthma and other respiratory disorders and persons who have multiple chemicals sensitivity.
- Studies have shown that fire crackers have significant amount of heavy metals such as lead and cadmium and their fumes contain oxides of sulphur, phosphorous, nitrogen and carbon, which are highly harmful.
- The oxides from the chemicals discharged from burning fire crackers, come into contact with moisture while passing from nostrils to the lungs and form acids, which damage the body.
- Firecracker injuries occur due to the pressure wave created because of explosion which causes severe injuries around the eyes, eye lids and cornea.
- Firecrackers during Diwali can act as a source of irritation and prolonged exposure may aggravate certain psychiatric conditions as well.
Tips for a safe Diwali
- Earthen lamps and candles should be placed safely away from any flammable material like wood, cloth or paper and electric wires.
- Electric lights should never be tied to any metal poles as any leakage of current can energise the pole and give an electric shock to anyone who touches it.
- Don’t burn firecrackers inside the house as this will have a dangerous impact on allergy and asthma patients.
- Never try to re-ignite the fireworks that don't light in the first instance.
- Only one person at a time should be allowed to light a firecracker. Avoid bursting crackers on terrace and park vehicles at safe place in case of bursting crackers on road.
- Children should never be left alone and everyone should use a long candle to light crackers.
- Purchase firecrackers from authorised dealers and keep them away from children.
- When lighting fire crackers, wear close-fitting thick cotton clothes instead of loose fitting synthetic clothing and ensure that you keep a bucket of water nearby while lighting fire crackers.
- Do not get exposed to direct smoke, as it may lead to choking effect. Stay away and cover nose and mouth.
- Preferable to stay indoors with windows and doors closed. Use an air conditioner or air purifier with a good filter during the heaviest fire works celebrations.
- Wear a paper or gauze mask to decrease smoke inhalation unless it interferes with regular breathing.
- Wash your eyes, nose, mouth, hands with warm water after exposure to firecrackers.
- Keep your medication within reach.
- Always desirable to seek medical advice at the earliest, in the first sign of breathlessness or severe non-retracting cough.
- Immediate first aid for eyes is to wash eyes thoroughly with potable water for 25 minutes and in case of serious infection or injury, one should consult an eye specialist within an hour.
- Buckets filled with water should be kept nearby.
- Women in later stages of pregnancy should be careful.
Tips for a green Diwali
- Avoid using electric lights to illuminate your home. Instead, opt for diyas (earthen lamps) and candles. This saves electricity.
- Limit usage of firecrackers that emit enormous smoke and sound.
- Dispose off waste properly after celebrations.
- Select eco-friendly gifts and decorating items.
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) labs have been successful in developing various environment-friendly fireworks such as sound emitting crackers, flowerpots, pencils, chakkar and sparklers. These fireworks, based on new formulations developed by CSIR, have been manufactured and are available in the Indian market for consumers and sellers. Nearly 165 fireworks manufactures have been roped in and around 65 more manufacturers are in the process of coming on board.
Definition of Green crackers
Fireworks/firecracker smade with reduction in size of shell, elimination of ash usage etc., reduced usage of raw materials in the compositions, of uniform acceptable quality, and/or use of additives as dust suppressants to reduce emissions with specific reference to particulate matter (PM*) ( SO2and NO2) leading to:
- a minimum of PM reduction of 30%
- a minimum of PM reduction of 20% and rest 10% of gaseous emission (mass of gases emitted based on composition) or more reduction of gaseous emission (mass of gases emitted based on composition)
- All of the above reduction shall be based on when compared with conventional composition for a given category of crackers/fireworks
New formulation fireworks/fire crackers
Fireworks/fire crackers having new and improved formulations (substitution and reduction of raw materials in composition) to reduce emissions with specific reference to particulate matter (PM*), SO2 and NO2 as :
- a minimum of PM reduction of 30 %
- a minimum of PM reduction of 20% and rest 10% of gaseous emission (mass of gases emitted based on composition)
- All of the above reduction shall be based on when compared with conventional composition for a given category of crackers/fireworks.
*metals are subset of PM
To know the improved and new formulations and the manufacturers of green crackers, click here.
A green logo as well as a Quick Response (QR) coding system has been developed for differentiation of green crackers from conventional crackers. QR codes is a novel feature incorporated on the fire crackers to avoid manufacture and sale of counterfeit products. This will also help the consumers to track the cracker using smart phones and other devices. The cost of the green crackers is almost same as that of regular crackers.
A helpline has been created for any queries related to emission certificates, QR Codes and formulations. The helpline is available at: +918617770964 and +919049598046, or, email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali Campaign
This is a campaign launched by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. As a part of the campaign, the Environment Ministry is undertaking various activities to create awareness among various stakeholders and encourage people to participate in combating air pollution. A Pledge for a Green and Healthy Diwali is also being widely circulated to the schools/colleges and other educational institutions and the school administration has been requested to administer the said Pledge during their school assembly up to Diwali.
Anti-Fire Crackers Campaign
This is a government initiative to discourage the use of fire crackers on the occasion of Diwali. Some of the activities taken up as part of this initiative are
- Schools are advised to sensitize children and staff about the harmful effects of fire crackers so that they use safer alternatives e.g. lights, flowers etc to celebrate the festivals.
- Heads of Schools are asked to personally address the school assembly in order to dissuade children from using fire crackers.
- Rallies are organised to sensitise public about the ill-effects of fire crackers
- Students, parents, Resident Welfare Associations take pledge to celebrate Diwali in an eco-friently manner