With the grand annual festival of Diwali on our head, China-made firecrackers have come under the scanner over their terrible track record. The use of potassium chlorate in these Chinese crackers makes them highly unstable and these can explode without a warning. Keeping this in mind, these products have been banned in public interest. To ensure there are no untoward happenings, Delhi government has put together 11 special teams to enforce the ban on these firecrackers including raiding shops.
It is worth mentioning here that the use of potassium chlorate in fireworks has been banned in India since 1992. According to a central government notification, the use of the chemical is only permitted in small quantities in specific circumstances. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry in September 2014 said, “Possession and sale of fireworks of foreign origin in India is illegal and punishable under the Law. Various Fireworks Associations have informed that these smuggled items include the chemical ‘Potassium Chlorate’ which is a dangerous and hazardous chemical and can ignite or explode spontaneously.” Besides, these Chinese crackers often have higher sulphur and potassium chlorate content, the levels of pollution they create are also higher. The high sulphur content produces toxic oxides of sulphur, which cause eye irritation and respiratory distress. Handling potassium chlorate irritates the skin and causes breathing trouble. Prolonged exposure can lead to bronchitis, and affect the kidneys and the nervous system.
Despite, the cheap rate of Chinese firecrackers and ability to burn brighter attracts customers as they find it bigger bang for their money so far. This made these products highly popular in Indian households. But no more, the anger on Beijing’s continuous support to Pakistan, its refusal to allow the UN sanctioning of terrorist Masood Azhar and its blocking of India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group also abated common people to shun purchasing Chinese crackers and switch to Indian products to lighten the festival of Diwali, this year.
Thus, with the ban followed by choice of people to boycott Chinese firecrackers, this Diwali would be safer for environment on the whole.