This title is no exaggeration. Forget multiple crackers , Just one firecracker, one phooljhadi generates as much smoke as 74 cigarettes if you stand within one feet from it. This has been concluded by a 2016 study by Chest Research Foundation in Pune. It analyzed six different crackers– the snake , a 1000 cracker ladi, phuljhadi, pul-pul , anar and chakri for their PM 2.5 pollution levels. These pollution levels were then compared to average PM 2.5 generated by a cigarette by India Spend. It then gave the following estimations of smoke generated by firecrackers compared to cigarettes –
1. One Chakri generates as much smoke as 68 cigarettes
2. This seemingly harmless cracker is one of the most dangerous ones. One Snake cracker generates as much smoke as 464 cigarettes.
3. One anar cracker generates as much smoke as 34 cigarettes. This is comparatively lower than other crackers because one stands around 3 feet away from anar when it is bursting instead of the usual one feet.
4. One ladi cracker of 1000 generates as much smoke as 277 cigarettes. Even when standing further away, a ladi is one of the most polluting crackers.
S0 assuming on average if a cracker emits smoke as much as 100 cigarettes and you burst just 20 crackers this Diwali then you will end up inhaling as much smoke as 2000 cigarettes. With regards to pollution levels, India has a 24-hour mean standard of 60 µg/m³ for PM 2.5 pollution, while the WHO has a lower standard of 25 µg/m³. When bursting crackers, this pollution level is broken massively, where a single cracker during it’s duration of bursting is generating upto 60,000 µg/m³ of PM 2.5 pollution. Now whether you agree with Supreme Court’s decision to ban firecrackers or not, that is a talk for some other time..
If you’re someone who thinks that bursting crackers is not a big source of pollution and like to blame it on other things, then think again! In no other event across the year, are your lungs this vulnerable to pollution. Overall air pollution may be caused by a variety of things from burning fields to cars or industries. But none of these other factors are ever affecting you directly by being in close proximity to you. This one day of Diwali will have an unprecedented toll on your health, should you choose to burst crackers. Fortunately enough, your health is in your own control. These distastrous health effects are only caused when you are in close proximity to crackers, that means you are bursting them yourself. So, do your lungs a favour this diwali, by staying away from crackers and advise the same to your family and friends. 🙂