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  • Category: Festivals

    Which fire crackers are green and environmentally friendly?

    Just now I read on the TOI news portal that the Supreme Court has given permission of lighting up firecrackers for the festive season of Diwali & other festivals on the condition that these are lighted only during 8p.m. and 10p.m. They can also be lit during Christmas and New Year's Eve between 11.45p.m. to 12.30. Further, the portal reported, "only green firecrackers" would be allowed to be sold.

    Now, in what way exactly are firecrackers 'green'? In some way or the other, whether through noise or smoke, don't all firecrackers harm the environment? Why not simply put a blanket ban on all firecrackers?
  • #651370
    Let us stop talking about environmental consciousness for a day. If we can't stop thinking about pollution, let us leave the car and use the bicycle for a month to atone for firecrackers on Diwali.

    Let's celebrate Diwali with aloo-bomb.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #651373
    There are some crackers which are made with chemicals which will not liberate any hazardous gases when they are oxidised. They will liberate more nitrogen and other gases. They will not evolve any carbonaceous gases which are hazardous. These days green pyrotechnics are very much popular and a lot of work is going on. But I don't know how many of the firecrackers sold in the market will come under this class. For example, if lead in the chemicals is replaced by any other metal like sodium or magnesium the residue from those chemicals will not have any lead salts and the residues after the reaction will not cause any problem to the atmosphere.
    always confident

  • #651375
    The number one green cracker is a baloon filled with air and broken to make a loud noise. Otherthan this, I don't see any other cracker being green.
    No life without Sun

  • #651418
    So I tried to search about eco friendly fire crackers after reading this. What most newspapers called eco fire crackers were normal sparkling fire crackers. They call the bombs non eco friendly as they pollute air and sound. These crackers aren't noisy and don't produce much paper waste or smoke. Some suggest electrical fire crackers of which I have no idea about. Saying these crackers won't have chemicals make no sense. Smoke and chemicals are inevitable anyway.
    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #651421
    These are crackers which are different from the traditional crackers we use these days. Green crackers do not emit harmful gases when we burst them. The gases released are very harmful and causes lots of air pollution. On occasion like Diwali air pollution increases many times unlike the normal days. Green crackers are not that much harmful as they emit less toxic gases. They consist chemicals which is different and have nitrogen-rich nitrocellulose which emits lesser smoke and causes less air pollution than the present one. These are costlier than the crackers which are presently available in the market. As crackers cannot be completely banned specially when its a tradition in India so in order to get our atmosphere less polluted supreme Court has taken this decision.

    " It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not" ... Andre Gide

  • #651439
    Aditya, In my post I said that there are chemicals in the firecrackers but they will not evolve any hazardous chemicals. I never said that there are no chemicals. If you read the latest developments in pyrotechnics you will understand the chemicals which are treated as eco-friendly chemicals. There are some chemicals which on Oxidation will liberate nitrogen, hydrogen and water vapour only which are not harmful to the atmosphere. I can name some chemicals also but I don't want to give any specific examples.
    I don't understand your statement, "Saying these crackers won't have chemicals make no sense." Who told that there are no chemicals in firecrackers. Can you please highlight?
    If you want to know further about green chemicals and green firecrackers, you can try on the internet and if you want any further information you can be in touch with me through my email.

    always confident

  • #651442
    No Dr. Rao I wasn't referring to you but to the consumer market that sell these "green crackers". They advertise it saying there are no chemicals in them.
    I was reading that zinc and magnesium oxide emitted from the regular crackers can cause irritation in eyes and lungs. Fireworks employ heavier elements like barium, calcium and magnesium for color right? So I was thinking that these green crackers will have to reduce the amount or totally exclude these metals. But then we would have to compromise with color. Most traditional fireworks use potassium nitrate,the main component of the cracker I assume. That would emit nitrogen oxides into air which is no good. It's a green house gas. Even the green crackers are said to have nitrogen/nitrate based metal compounds. So what sort of actual effect do we have?

    The sound would decrease to fair amount by reduction of heavier metal oxides. But atmosphere will still be polluted. To be honest everything combustible pollutes the air so what good are green crackers?

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #651451
    Again I don't agree with your statement that everything combustible pollutes the air. There are some chemicalswhich will emit nitrogen and water vapours which are never polluting the atmosphere. Anyhow nitrogen oxides are not good but nitrogen is not harmful.
    always confident

  • #651466
    I am not a science student so not very confident about sharing my opinion on this thread.

    What I have understood after reading the newspaper that green crackers are those which are made of such a chemical formulation that after bursting, produce water molecules. Naturally, dust present in the atmosphere will be suppressed. It is said that as the water molecules absorb the particles then it reduces nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide quite significantly. So, it's better for the air quality.


  • #651468
    I will focus again on firecrackers which make noise when hit on a ground. That's it. This is what we used to do every year and I have asked my brother to keep this note when using celebration as an excuse for crackers. Infact most of the subtle noise firecrackers are the one which make a lot of smoke. So, we call "Dharti Bum" and will be using them again.
    Iti Tyagi
    "Soar to Success"

  • #651474
    Many national dailies reported the news of the restrictions on the manufacture, sale and use of firecrackers, these restrictions being applied to the entire country. The media also gave detailed reports on the various compounds which are in specific types of firecrackers, such as barium nitrate in gold sparklers, iron and aluminium flakes in electric sparklers, etc.

    Green crackers would be those with low sound and light emissions and these would need to pass the approval of PESO (Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation). What Shampa mentioned are the ones that have been suggested by CSIR which has come up with chemical formulations which would produce water molecules, thereby acting as a dust suppressant, absorbing particulate matter & thus reducing nitrous oxide and sulphur oxide to a great extent. If this formulation is approved by PESO, the production of these firecrackers would begin [Reference: Times of India, 24th October]. Of course, this could take a few years and we are unlikely to see fully green crackers any time soon.

    The main problem is that the Supreme Court's ruling has arrived when Diwali is already at the doorstep, with markets already stocked up with firecrackers and some people already have bought them in advance. It would have been good to have implemented a ban a few months ago itself. Why put people's health at a high risk? Do we want to continue living in polluted air and have hearing loss on a long-term, perhaps permanent basis?

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #651476
    Let us enjoy with fire-crackers on Diwali and stop pollution by using bicycles for the other 364 days. The decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court is very difficult to be implemented.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #651478
    So? Isn't water vapour itself a major green house gas? What are we trying to accomplish here then?
    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #651483
    Yes, reducing nitrous oxide and sulphur oxide to a great extent for a future firecracker is not really achieving anything. That is why I am reiterating - put a blanket ban in place, not half-baked measures.

    Let's not go off-track and repeat things about polluting vehicles, etc. This thread is solely about the restrictions and the supposedly environmental friendly firecrackers.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #651565
    When everything is going green why not crackers, but the problem is its implementation. Dr. Rao has mentioned certain chemicals and by using them the emission of hazardous gas to the environment will be restricted, but in our country it is difficult to widely implement any laws.

    For the past few years there are restrictions imposed by the courts and PCBs in many states to reduce noise and air pollution at the time of Diwali. There are violations also and this year the top court stepped in with more restrictions. The suggestion by the author to put a blanket ban on the use of firecrackers is debatable and may not find many takers. Absolute ban will put a full stop on the celebration of lights during Diwali and few other occasions and some ways must be devised to make the harmful emissions nil.

    On the other the crackers that produce sounds have many ill effects especially to the old and sick people and their use should be restricted everywhere. We know the condition of air in many big states of the country and let's celebrate the festival of lights keeping in mind the aftereffects too. Instead of bursting the crackers with much fanfare like before, this time let's reduce the number of crackers to some extent and if everybody does that, then also the pollution can be controlled a bit.


    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

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