Snake tablet emits highest amount of PM 2.5 in popular firecrackers: Study

Snake tablets were followed by ladis (strings of 1,000 crackers), pulpuls (a kind of colourful fuljhadis), fuljhadis, chakris and anaars in the level of pollutants generated.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune | Updated: October 25, 2016 10:40 am
diwali crackers It is perhaps the first time that levels of PM2.5 between different firecrackers have been measured and compared

The snake tablet cracker emits the highest amount of PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter) amid popular firecrackers, perhaps the first-ever such study has shown. As per the findings of researchers at the Chest Research Foundation (CRF) and Pune University, a snake tablet burns out in only 12 seconds, but produces 64,500 mcg/m3 of PM2.5 in that time, the effects of which last for three minutes. The permissible limit of PM2.5 is just 50 mcg/m3. Particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter can reach deeper portions of the lung, causing more damage.

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Snake tablets were followed by ladis (strings of 1,000 crackers), pulpuls (a kind of colourful fuljhadis), fuljhadis, chakris and anaars in the level of pollutants generated.

It is perhaps the first time that levels of PM2.5 between different firecrackers have been measured and compared, Dr Sundeep Salvi, the director of the CRF, and the main author of the study, said. The findings were presented in September this year at the European Respiratory Society.

“Our aim was to find out which firework used during Diwali produces the most amount of particulate matter air pollution. The experiments were done last year in November-December,” said Salvi.

Dr Sneha Limaye, CRF senior scientist who supervised the study, said that if it was known which were the most harmful fireworks in terms of PM2.5, people could be advised to avoid burning them. Children generally burn the fuljhadi, pulpul and snake tablet barely a foot or two away from them, and end up inhaling a large amount of smoke particles.

The researches found that after a snake tablet, ladis with 1,000 crackers created the most harm. These burn for 48 seconds, produce 38,540 mcg/m3 of PM2.5 at their peak, and the pollutants last for six minutes. Of the six popular firecrackers, anaar produced the least pollution.

“We do not know why anaar produces the lowest levels, but it could be because the levels of PM2.5 were measured at a height of 3 feet and a distance of 6 feet (from where one generally watches a lit anaar)… Or there could be better combustion of the firepowder in the anaar than other fireworks,” Salvi said.

During the experiment, the six firecrackers were burnt five times each, and individually, in an area simulating the front of a house. They were set off at a distance one would normally maintain. For example, the fuljhadi was lit around 1 feet away, and the ladi and anaar at a distance of 6 feet.

Sufficient time was given after the firecrackers had been lit to measure how long it took for the levels of PM2.5 to subside.

Researchers also pointed out that while in their experiment they burnt the crackers individually, on Diwali day,
there would be many going off simultaneously, causing PM2.5 to reach extremely high levels.

The PM2.5 levels were measured using Thermo PDR 1200, USA, a light-scattering photometer that counts the number of particles and converts them into mass, which are then expressed as mcg/m3. The inbuilt data logger recorded minute-by-minute levels of PM2.5.

Apart from particulate matter, even gaseous pollution is harmful for lungs, eyes, nose and heart.

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  1. A
    Oct 25, 2016 at 2:04 pm
    No all news papers editors hands will be chopped off with immediate effect if they write something about bakrid.
    1. A
      Against Sick
      Oct 25, 2016 at 6:27 am
      Did IE publish similar kind of articles prior to Bakri Eid talking about environmental damage caused by slaughtering? Sickular libtards think that the people are fool and will still listen to their hindu festival bashing non-sense. Grow up libtards
      1. A
        Against Sick
        Oct 25, 2016 at 6:29 am
        Libtards cant talk anything against bad practices in other religion than word on Barkri Eid slaughter, Triple talaq etc..they will never say anything against Muslims or Christians for how can they go against their masters?
        1. M
          Oct 25, 2016 at 11:19 am
          before trees were not used to during when potion increased more tree cut to make crhistmas once people in india stop celebrating christmas ..naturally 350 day will become environment friendly with more trees and little carbon from divali will be absorbed by trees as it was hapening when there was not christmas in india..
          1. S
            Oct 25, 2016 at 5:07 am
            It is a conspiracy by commie , jihadi and secular brigade to show Hindu festivals in a bad light .... why dont they publish such articles on Muslim eids and Christian festivals .... it has become a fashion to bash Hindu traditions now
            1. R
              Oct 25, 2016 at 8:25 am
              The problem is not festivals or the enjoyment related to festivals, it's the upgraded version of the enjoyments (louder crackers, more light) which is the;br/gt;If we stick to our basics and don't demand too much out of carckers, we can have our enjoyments and LESS effect on;br/gt;Similarly, in Ganesh festival, instead of going with Huge speakers and DJ, if we go with Basic music instruments like nashik dhol the noise factor will also be less and the enjoyment will be on a all together different;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Don't stop anything, just stick to basics and don't demand more, Festivals are FUN.
              1. R
                Oct 25, 2016 at 3:07 am
                Year by year Hindu festival are getting dangerous to society. Due to increase in potion and purchasing power. In Holi we cut tree and burn. In Diwali burn crackers which produces pollution as well as noise. Chaina crackers are more dangerous. LAST YEAR my city was under huge noise and smoke. As old person I felled uncomfortable. My dog disturbed. When we are taking care of Muslim people like talaq why not for bad thing of Hindu festival
                1. G
                  Oct 25, 2016 at 4:22 pm
                  Another Christian hack to systematically denigrate Hindu festival. Ask these quota christians to pay taxes so safe fireworks can be used, instead of dangerous chinese imports.
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