If you are one of those who feels guilty after firing a rocket filled with toxic pollutants but finds it impossible to say ‘no’ to fireworks at the same time, here’s a safer option: Kaliswari Fireworks from Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu, a manufacturer since 1923, has come up with eco-friendly fireworks which are claimed to release drastically low levels of pollutants in the air.
Fireworks are filled with arsenic, copper and lithium compounds, sulphur sodium oxalate, aluminium, hexachlorobenzene, sulphur, manganese, iron dust powder, potassium perchlorate, strontium nitrate and barium nitrate, etc. When combusted, they release gaseous pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and even cancer-causing dioxins and furans. Due to weaker wind movements during winters, the gaseous pollutants tend to remain in the atmosphere for 15-20 days (Verma & Deshmukh, Recent Research in Science and Technology). Hence, even if you remain indoors, there is no escape from this menace.
There’s already a long list of human health hazards drawn out by scientists but what we conveniently overlook is the damage caused to the entire ecosystem filled with living beings ranging from large animals to invisible micro-organisms. And of course, pollution of ground and surface water.
Eco-friendly fireworks, how?
“We do not use lead and a few other harmful substances which are found abundantly in regular fireworks. Our crackers are 70% safer than regular ones,” says Madan of Kaliswari. The firm is currently coming up with four products and they are available all through the year. They use recycled paper from ITC for manufacturing and packaging the products.
Tejaswi Uthappa, Hebbal, who was part of a team that led her resident community to go for these crackers during last Diwali, dug deeper and found out that these are “either perchlorate-free or sulphur-free or drastically low on these components compared to the regular ones”. They also contain a smaller fraction of metal compounds as opposed to regular crackers. The use of nitrates as oxidisers also brings down the release of toxins into the air.
When eco-friendly crackers were sourced for her community display last year, they found them to be “visibly minimally toxic, much less smokey and noisy but more colourful”. She also collected inputs from some jubilant asthmatics standing in the first line of cordon. As for the duration of pyrotechnic performance, “each cracker also had a longer span of function”. “What we are left with largely, after a celebration now, is carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen, with minimal air pollution.”
Adds Tejaswi: “So, in terms of power, there was no compromise. It was in fact better on all counts. The chemical composition is available. The manufacturer gave us a certificate stating the composition too. Further info is amply available on the net.”
Furthermore, the crackers created thus bring about “brighter and deeper colours of blues and reds that are not possible with regular pyrotechnics”.
Perhaps, giving these products a try once or twice and figuring it for yourself might turn out to be a sane decision than blindly going for the regular brands.
For contact details, please visit: kaliswari-fireworks.com.