New Delhi: Bursting crackers and fireworks during Diwali are a time-old and enjoyable way to celebrate the festival. However, in the last decade or so, there has been increasing awareness about the ill effects of bursting crackers on the health. Fireworks, particularly low quality and cheap products, release harmful pollutants carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter into the atmosphere when burnt. The sound and fumes created by these firecrackers can cause irritation to the ears and lungs, and excessive amounts can trigger lung disorders, like asthma, bronchitis, cause irritation to the eyes. It can trigger an episode in people who have weaker hearts or have recently suffered a major heart issue.
Loud sounds associated with bursting different types of Diwali crackers can lead to elevated blood pressure levels and trigger stress reactions, particularly in those individuals who are sensitive to loud noises. It is common to witness patients complaining of burn injuries, irritation in the skin, eyes, throat, and ears in the emergency ward during or in the days following Diwali. Ideally, we recommend people to enjoy an eco-friendly Diwali with organic, natural ingredients.
Safety tips for Diwali
- Play safe – do not stand too close to the crackers. Wear clothing that will protect you from light sparks and fumes emitted.
- People suffering from allergies must keep their medications handy in case the firecrackers trigger any attacks.
- Large dust particulate may enter the eyes, if there is any continual pain or irritation in the eyes despite washing thoroughly, seek medical opinion – people wearing contact lenses must be a little more precautious during this time.
- Shop for high-quality Diwali supplies – artificial, cheap rangoli powders are sometimes made of chemicals that affect the skin and can lead to outbreaks or staining of the skin, trigger acne or other skin disorders.
- Keep a first aid kit ready, particularly to deal with burn injuries – use cool water and cool compresses to soothe a burn injury, and ensure you have emergency numbers and transport available in case anything serious occurs.
- Very severe effects of heavy firecracker related pollution can also include liver damage and miscarriage.
As long as the appropriate safety measures are put into place, Diwali can be enjoyed the typical way with firecrackers as long as one does not overdo it. The best way to enjoy Diwali is to go as green as possible as this will not only save you from any untoward health consequences but will also help us move towards a more environment-friendly planet!