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Harmless firecrackers can be more harmful

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If you thought your kids are safe by shunning the do-doma or kali patka and taking to fuljhuris, charki and rangmashal, then think twice. The apparently harmless fire crackers are in reality, more harmful. The Supreme Court in 2015,had banned the use of sound-emitting crackers between the hours of 10pm and 6am on the night of the festival. It basically reiterated the 2005 order as it had not been strictly adhered to by the public and the authorities who were meant to enforce it. However, this short-term correction has led to an even more malicious obstacle: the chemical contents of these bangers are poisonous enough to suffocate, even kill.

The SC has requested manufacturers to print the chemicals used in the crackers on its box, without which, the manufacturer will be held liable. Despite this, consumers continue to buy them without checking their products’ ingredients, so to speak. The noxious fumes issued by the firecrackers choke the air, and have adverse effects on human beings as well. The SPM (suspended particulate matter) levels rise,causing throat, nose and eye related problems, which can later develop into terrible health hazards.

It can lead to headaches and reduced mental acuity when it reaches the level of 100 ppm. It has much more severe effects in people with heart, respiratory or nervous system disorders. It can aggravate colds, allergies or coughs and can also cause congestion of throat and chest. People have started buying fireworks that is less noisy, but is colorful. However, the green lights in fireworks are produced by barium, a proven radioactive and poisonous compound. The blue colour produced from copper compounds come from dioxins linked to cancer. The traditional ‘Pharaoh's serpent’depends upon mercury (II) thiocyanate, which is known for its high levels of toxicity. Heavy metal - present mostly in cheap, imported firecrackers - are a bigger health risk than noise, say doctors.

The 'harmless' sparkler, in fact, may be the most dangerous of all with deadly amounts of toxicity. A test, conducted by the Savior and Friends of Environment (SAFE), found that Heavy metal - present mostly in cheap, imported firecrackers - are a bigger health risk than noise, say doctors.Copper, vanadium and lead are hazardous when ingested or brought in contact with the body. ‘While the noise has instant impact on the body, heavy metals slowly push people into health hazards, particularly those who suffer from chronic problems,’ said DrAmitavaSaha, a senior medical practitioner. Based on tests conducted using the X-ray Fluorescence analyzer, the most toxic among the fireworks tested were sparklers, or fuljharis. These were found to contain barium at 25,000 parts per million (ppm); 2,935 ppm of zinc; 1,874 ppm of manganese; 807 ppm of chromium and 17 ppm of arsenic.