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The countdown to Diwali has already started as homes are on a cleaning spree, markets are splashed with colours of festivities and energy of people. The festival of lights, Diwali is going to be another display this year. From lights, sweets, rangolis, to crackers –this is what makes up for a splendid festival pack but every year there is a lot of debate around the bursting of crackers. In the wake of perils of climate crisis, every year there are certain limitation and concerns on Diwali. Fireworks causes both noise and air pollution, and when it comes to pollution, the capital of Delhi leaves citizens dazed in smog and poor quality air. Hence, the term ‘Green cracker ’has come in the scene this year. Green always does not mean environment friendly. So, what does green crackers mean?
Green crackers can be attributed as a modern variety of crackers which vary from their conventional counterparts because of their typical feature of releasing lesser pollutants into the atmosphere. Green crackers developed by the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) are said to emit 30% lesser pollutants than normal crackers. Its chemical formulation ensures reduced particle emission into the atmosphere.
Are Green Crackers Really Green?
Quoting Dr Khawal and Prof Mor, The Indian Express published, that both green crackers and conventional crackers cause pollution and people should refrain from using either. However, the only variation is that green crackers cause 30% less air pollution as compared to older ones.
What is the difference between green crackers and conventional crackers?
According to Prof Mor & Dr Khawal, both green crackers and conventional crackers cause pollution and human beings should refrain from using either. The only difference is that green crackers cause 30 per cent less air pollution as compared to old ones. “Green crackers reduce emissions considerably and absorb dust and don’t contain dangerous elements like barium nitrate. Toxic metals in conventional crackers are replaced with less hazardous compounds. According to the NGT (National Green Tribunal), green crackers are allowed only in cities and towns where air quality is moderate or poor,” Dr Khaiwal and Prof Mor further added that there is decrease in emission of sound as well in green crackers.
Dr Khaiwal and Prof Mor suggested that one should look for green crackers falling only in these 3 categories- SAFAL, SWAS, and STAR: the firecrackers formulated by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). “SWAS, means “safe water releaser” must have a small water pocket or droplets which get discharged when burst, in the form of vapour,” Prof Mor explained that “SWAS is safe water releaser, which hold in the dust released by releasing water vapour in the air. It does not comprise potassium nitrate and sulphur and the particulate dust discharged will reduce approximately by 30%.
Similarly, STAR refers to Safe Thermite Cracker, which does not contain potassium nitrate and sulphur, emits decreased particulate matter disposal and reduced sound intensity. SAFAL is safe minimal aluminium which has minimal usage of aluminium, and used magnesium alternatively. It guarantees reduction in sound in comparison to traditional crackers,” Prof Mor articulated.
They also recommended not to buy green crackers from street vendors and only from licensed sellers.
Kejariwal also suggest that if chemical identification cannot be done, the identification of green crackers can be done with the help of CSIR NEERI logo. The scanner may be obtained using the CSIR NEERI green QR code app from Google Playstore.