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Current Affairs

Supreme Court bans firecrackers

Date: 11 October 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Supreme Court has questioned firecracker manufacturers for continuing to use banned materials such as Barium salts.

 

Background

The earlier judgment of Supreme Court has clearly mentioned that harmful chemicals have to be eliminated in compliance with the law. 

 

Details

The court has observed that it has been forced to take a strong position as it cannot let people suffer and die from pollution.

 

Previous decisions

  • In Arjun Gopal and Others vs Union of India and Others, the court had ordered that only crackers with reduced emission and green crackers be allowed.

  • The court had also imposed strict restrictions on timings when they could be burst. The case was filed under the Article 21 of the Constitution (right to clean air).

 

Working of firecrackers

  • Firecrackers produce a combustion reaction by making use fuel and oxidizers, and the resulting explosion spreads the material in a superheated state. 

  • Metal salts in the mix produce different wavelengths of light during this reaction, generating colorful lights. 

 

Controlling firecrackers

  • Studies have shown that concentration of elements such as Aluminium, Barium, Potassium, Sulphur, Iron and Strontium rise sharply during large-scale bursting.

  • These particles degrade the air quality and affect the health of humans as well as animals.  Crackers also violate legal limits on sound.

 

Green crackers

  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, through its National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) had introduced variety of Green Crackers.

  • The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation should certify the composition of fireworks before giving permission for their use.

 

Varieties

  • Safe Water Releaser: Minimises Potassium Nitrate and Sulphur use, but matches the sound intensity of conventional crackers

  • Safe Minimal Aluminium: Aluminium use is low

  • Safe Thermite Crackers: Low Sulphur and Potassium Nitrate.