Post Mortem

Say No to Firecrackers

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/27/2020 12:34:01 PM IST

 Bursting of various forms of firecrackers has been a part of the celebration during every festive season throughout the country. Owing to deleterious effect on respiratory health by harmful chemicals and related hazards from firecrackers, their use has been banned in various parts of the world including some states in India. The production, sales, and usage of fireworks have been banned in Singapore (1972), Sweden (2001), and Vietnam (1994). Germany has stringent regulations where firecrackers are classified and their purchase is allowed only in a systematic manner so that the bursting of firecrackers never reaches unprecedented levels. In India, several states and union territory have banned the sale and bursting of firecrackers such as Rajasthan, Haryana, Sikkim, Odisha, West Bengal, and Chandigarh to protect the health of Covid-19 infected patients and public from harmful smoke emanating due to fireworks. Besides, guidelines on restrictions of fireworks usage have also been issued in several states including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, and Chattisgarh. As a sequel, the Govt. of Nagaland has also issued prohibitory order on the use of any forms of firecrackers across the State under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 with effect from 10th Nov. 2020 till 31st Jan. 2021. 

Firecrackers have a major ill effect on living beings as well as the environment. It contributes largely to air pollution by release of toxic chemicals thereby degrading the air quality and the development of smog is a common phenomenon. Sulphur nitrates, magnesium, nitrogen dioxide, antimony sulphates, mercury fulminate, arsenic, lead, lithium, salts of calcium-strontium-barium-copper, etc are the major constituent chemicals used in the manufacturing of the crackers. Lately, the Supreme Court in 2017 bans four toxic chemicals (antimony, lithium, mercury, arsenic, and lead) used in firecrackers. These chemicals prove to be hazardous for our respiratory systems and can cause serious ailments like asthma, lung cancer, shortness of breath, hormonal imbalances, and many other respiratory diseases. Moreover, high decibel noise from explosion raises anxiety levels and also causes panic attacks. People lose their sleep and also cause hyperventilation. Besides, these heavy metals/chemicals are not easily degradable in the environment and are responsible for water pollution as well.

The irony of the prohibition especially in Dimapur is obvious by the loud intermittent ‘bang-boom’ of fireworks during Diwali and Christmas Eve. The deterrent seems to have failed to achieve its desired result. So, what in-store on New Year’s Eve? It’s a gentle reminder that there are altogether 11,895 confirmed Covid cases with 274 active (109 in Dimapur) cases and 67 deaths so far (as on 25.12.20). Under such trying times, the least we can contribute is by being more sensible and say ‘No’ to firecrackers’ at least for the well-being of our ailing near and dear ones, family members, and friends. Indeed, your one-step today will be a giant leap towards preserving a clean environment in the long run.

Dr. Wati Imchen, 

4th Mile, Dimapur


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