Children

Have a cracking celebration

The festival season is well on its way, and what better time to burst crackers, right?

Wrong. There’s everything wrong with firecrackers. Why? Primarily, it causes extensive air pollution and fills the air with metal particles, dangerous toxins, harmful chemicals and smoke. Some of the toxins never fully decompose or disintegrate, poisoning everything they come in contact with.

So, how can we celebrate Deepavali without crackers, you ask? Here’s the solution. Green crackers. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed crackers that are kind to the environment and to you.

Green vs regular crackers

1. They are made using less polluting raw materials. While they use chemicals like aluminium, barium, potassium nitrate and carbon, the quantity is less and this, in turn, lowers the emission by about 30%.

2. The noise level is lower. While regular crackers emit about 160 decibels, the latter emit only 110-124 decibels.

3. Manufacturers have to sign a deal with CSIR if they wish to produce these crackers.

4. Three types are available in India — Safe Water Releaser (SWAS), Safe Minimal Aluminium (STAR), and Safe Thermite Cracker (SAFAL).

In today’s climate, where health is a primary concern for all, it is best to say no to firecrackers or burning waste, especially dry leaves. Carbon particles from the fumes, and chemical vapours from firecrackers can aggravate pre-existing allergic conditions.

NEW DELHI, 15/11/2020: Fire crackers being burst at a terrace of a residential complex to celebrate the Deepawali Festival at Dilshad Garden area in New Delhi on November 15, 2020. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

NEW DELHI, 15/11/2020: Fire crackers being burst at a terrace of a residential complex to celebrate the Deepawali Festival at Dilshad Garden area in New Delhi on November 15, 2020. Photo: R.V. Moorthy   | Photo Credit: MOORTHY RV

Go green, stay safe

Here are some tips to ensure that you and your friends are safe:

Buy your firecrackers from licensed and reliable sellers. Look for green alternatives always.

It is best for the elderly to stay indoors away from noise and pollution; keep very young children away from the area where crackers are being burst.

Do not use a sanitiser before you light a diya or a candle. Most sanitisers are alcohol-based and hence inflammable. Wash your hands with soap and water before handling a matchbox.

While setting off rockets, ensure they are not facing an open window or door.

Keep a bucket of water handy.

It is best for one person at a time to light a cracker, while others watch from a distance.

Always wear footwear while bursting crackers. Do not wear nylon clothes; cotton is a safer option.

Though this is a great time to meet and spend time with family, maintain a safe distance. Also, avoid hugging.


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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 10:46:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/have-a-cracking-celebration/article37148645.ece

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