Everyone loves the colors and spectacular patterns that come with a firecracker, because of which they are often used to mark festivals, fairs and even functions such as weddings. However, firecrackers also bring with them air and noise pollution that can be very harmful. Firecrackers are mainly designed to produce large amounts of noise and some form of a loud bang. They consist of explosive material tightly wrapped in a paper casing and provided with a fuse. Firecrackers are made of plastic, flash powder, black powder, etc.
Long and Short Essay on Pollution due to firecrackers
Essay On Pollution Caused By Firecrackers (350 words)
Diwali is a very important festival for a majority of Indians and no celebration of this festival is considered complete without the use of plenty of firecrackers. So enthusiastic are people about them that they start blowing up firecrackers days and, sometimes, even weeks before Diwali. While firecrackers create beautiful patterns and lights, they are also composed of chemicals that, when burned, cause significant pollution.
Firecrackers primarily contain sulfur and carbon. However, they also contain added chemicals added to act as binders, stabilizers, oxidizers, reducing agents and coloring agents. To create the multi-colored glitter effect the colors are made up of antimony sulfide, barium nitrate, aluminum, copper, lithium, and strontium.
When these firecrackers are lit, these chemicals are released into the air, reducing air quality drastically. To make matters worse, Diwali usually takes place in October or November when many cities in northern India face fog. The gases released from the firecrackers are trapped in this fog and increase the level of pollution exponentially.
Children are more susceptible to the ill effects of this type of pollution as compared to adults. However, in both these chemicals can cause wide-ranging illnesses from Alzheimer’s to lung cancer to respiratory issues.
The bangs and booms of firecrackers that we love so much are actually pretty damaging to our hearing. The highest level of noise that the human ear can tolerate without damage is eighty-five decibels. Firecrackers have an average noise level of 125 decibels. As a result, there are plenty of cases of lost or damaged hearing on or after days when firecrackers explode everywhere.
Firecrackers on Diwali, a day of light, have certainly turned things dark for us. The pollution has reached such levels that recently the Supreme Court of India issued a ban on using firecrackers on Diwali. How much harm they cause to the environment can be seen in the fact that to repair one day’s worth of pollution, it would take a lifetime of five thousand trees. For the sake of our health as well as our children’s health, we need to start thinking twice about using firecrackers on auspicious events.
Essay On Air Pollution Due To Firecrackers During Diwali (400 words)
Diwali, the festival of lights and the victory of good over evil, has lately become an opportunity to spend lavishly and show off one’s prosperity. This spending is not limited to the clothes one buys or how one’s home is decorated. More and more people spend huge amounts on firecrackers, the louder and more elaborate the better. This exercise in spending has a lasting cost, not in terms of how it affects the pocket but in terms of the effect that it has on the air.
Air Pollution due to Firecrackers during Diwali
Delhi, the capital of India, ranks as one of the most polluted cities in the world. The air here is already subpar because of pollution from traffic, smoke released by industrial chimneys, the burning of agricultural waste in nearby regions such as Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab and coal-burning thermal and super thermal power stations.
When Diwali comes along the situation becomes much worse. The levels of pollution in the air rise astronomically. In addition, since it is winter by this time, the particulates become suspended in the fog and increase the peril to the people. These particulates are less than 2.5 microns making them small enough that they can be inhaled into the lungs causing damage and respiratory issues.
The Central Pollution Board measured the National Air Quality Index in 2015 and discovered that at least eight states experienced extreme pollution and deteriorated air quality on Diwali night. In Delhi alone, the number of PM10 particulates that are hazardous to health rose to two thousand microns per square meter. The limit recommended by the WHO or World Health Organization is forty times less than this number. These levels are so high that there has been a spike in the number of cases of respiratory issues.
People who want to burn firecrackers and are frustrated by the rules limiting or even banning fireworks state that pollution does not last longer than a few days. What they fail to take into account is that during those few days the air is so polluted that the damage it does to people’s health, especially children and the elderly, lasts much longer and can even be lifelong. More awareness and better legislation is the only way to combat the menace of air pollution caused by firecrackers.
Essay on Environmental Effects Caused By Firecrackers (450 Words)
Everyone loves the bangs and fizzes and the pyrotechnic display that fireworks bring with them. Each year, manufacturers strive to outdo themselves in the magnificence of the colors and patterns that show up in the displays. Around the world, firecrackers are increasingly becoming a way to celebrate important occasions or festivals. Whether it is New Year in New York, Diwali in Delhi or Guy Fawkes Day in London, fireworks are rapidly becoming part and parcel of these celebrations.
Environmental Effects Caused By Firecrackers
However, despite the stunning display of fireworks, an increasing concern is for the damage done to the environment when firecrackers burst. Fireworks contain carbon and sulfur as well as tiny metallic particulates of chemicals such as antimony, barium, strontium, lithium, aluminum, and copper. These particulates are what give color to the amazing display of pyrotechnics that we express wonder over. In addition, potassium compounds are used to propel firecrackers such as rockets.
All these chemicals are released into the atmosphere during a fireworks display in the form of smoke and minuscule particulates where they linger for days together. They cause substantial air pollution, making the air almost completely unhealthy for anyone, child or adult, to breathe in.
This is a problem that persists around the globe. Guy Fawkes Day in London is considered the most polluted day in the year; Indian cities such as Delhi are covered in smog that is much worse than what Beijing experiences on a normal day. The particles that were analyzed from these places were found to lower lung defenses much more than pollution from everyday traffic, showing that they are more toxic.
Not all particulates remain in the air. Many of them settle on the ground, where there are already plenty of unburnt remains of the firecrackers. Some of this residue eventually gets washed into water bodies nearby such as lakes and rivers. These particulates have been linked to problems with the thyroid gland. Overall, they reduce the quality of drinking water so much that some states in the US have actually set limits on the drinking water.
Fireworks are relatively new additions to occasions and festivals around the globe. However, in these times, when global warming and climate change are causes for grave concern, they add significantly to the burden that the environment has to bear. Just one day or even one night of fireworks use increases pollution levels so much that getting the levels of pollution down appears a hopeless task. It is up to each individual to take personal responsibility and stop using firecrackers.
Essay on Effect of Firecrackers on Air Pollution, human/Mental Health & Animals (500 words)
Diwali, for all its color and light, has become the source of a great deal of debate and discomfort over the past few years. This debate centers on the use of firecrackers. While people love bursting firecrackers every year at this time, recent research has shown that firecrackers and the residue they leave behind can have some very harmful after-effects.
Effect of Firecrackers on Air Pollution
Exploding fireworks release a huge amount of smoke which intermingles with air. In cities such as Delhi, the air is already full of pollutants from other sources. The smoke from firecrackers mixes with the air and worsens the air quality, rendering the air quite hazardous. The particulate matter that is released by fireworks is suspended in the fog and gets into the lungs.
Effect of Firecrackers on Human Health
Fireworks contain chemicals such as barium nitrate, strontium, lithium, antimony, sulfur, potassium, and aluminum. These chemicals pose serious health hazards for us. Antimony sulfide and aluminum can cause Alzheimer’s disease. Perchlorates made of potassium and ammonium can cause lung cancer. Barium nitrate can cause respiratory disorders, muscular weakness, and even gastrointestinal issues. Copper and lithium compounds can cause hormonal imbalances and are fatal for animals and plants.
Effect of Firecrackers on Mental Health
The bursting of firecrackers can have a severely detrimental effect on people who suffer from mental health problems. The noise alone is enough to raise anxiety levels and the fact that this starts a week before the festival and lasts late into the night contributes to poor sleep. In extreme cases, stress can lead to life-threatening hyperventilation. Unfortunately, since mental health itself isn’t discussed a great deal in India, the effects of fireworks in this sphere have not been investigated properly.
Effect of Firecrackers on Animals
Diwali may be a time of great joy for humans but for animals and birds, it is the most torturous time of the year. As pet owners already know, cats and dogs have very sensitive hearing. Therefore, what are mere loud bangs to us are as good as deafening to them. The continuous loud noises also frighten them. Strays are the worst hit since there is literally nowhere for them to go; there are fireworks on every street. Some people even tie fireworks to the tails of the animals and light them up for fun. Birds too are badly affected by the noise, which startles and frightens them and the light which can disorient or even blind them.
While fireworks may give dazzling displays, the effect they have on our physical and mental health, on our atmosphere and on the other beings that we share this planet can range from dangerous to devastating. We must curtail our use of them; a few instants of ‘fun’ do not justify long term harm to all.