Avoid bursting crackers this Diwali, contribute in fight to Covid-19 pandemic: In order to prevent lungs infection in Covid-19 times and bringing down pollution levels to low in the city, avoid use of crackers around Diwali.
Raising concerns over bursting of crackers in coming days, former Assistant Professor Dr H K Kharbanda pointed out that with approaching winter and the deteriorating air quality in Chandigarh, more and more people will be susceptible to cough and cold and with the constant threat of COVID-19 looming over them, further pollution of the air by bursting crackers and fireworks will be dangerous for people with weak lungs.
“The poisonous gas that is emitted from crackers and fireworks is particularly dangerous for people who are suffering from COVID and are in hospital and in quarantine. Poisonous gas, sulphur, carbon and other chemicals from firecrackers that pollute the air can exacerbate breathing problems and coughing and even cause death. This is particularly dangerous as far as the heart and lungs are concerned of the elderly and the children,” Dr Kharbanda stated.
He stressed the fact that fine particulate matter such as PM2.5 was particularly deadly as it can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause various complications. Referring to a Supreme Court judgment in 2018, he said that bursting crackers increased the levels of PM2.5 in the air and was a serious health hazard. He also drew attention to WHO data that every year 70 lac people died of illnesses caused by air pollution. “Last year there was no COVID! And this is a COVID year!” he warned.I appeal to the administration and people to pay heed to the situation and not burst crackers and fireworks and keep this Diwali pollution-free.”
“Burning of firecrackers cause both gaseous as well as particulate matter air pollution. Both are harmful for lungs, eyes, nose and the heart. It is time that we understand the seriousness of air pollution produced during the burning of firecrackers as the extremely high levels of air pollutants generated during the burning of firecrackers worsen asthma, allergic diseases of the eyes and nose, respiratory tract infections, pneumonias and heart attacks,” said Dr Kharbanda , while quoting a study conducted by Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences from University of Pune.
Name of Cracker Peak levels of PM2.5 in µg/m³ Cumulative levels forPM2.5 µg/m³
Snake 64500 64849
Laad of 1000 38540 47789
Pulpul 28950 34068
Fuljadi 10390 10898
Chakri 9490 10475
Anar 4860 5640