In News: According to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), green crackers are permitted only in cities and towns where air quality is moderate or poor.
- Green crackers are developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
- Both green crackers and traditional crackers cause pollution.
- However, green crackers cause 30 per cent less air pollution as compared to traditional ones.
- Green crackers reduce emissions substantially and absorb dust and don’t contain hazardous elements like barium nitrate.
- They are made with reduction in size of shell, elimination of ash usage, reduced usage of raw materials and uniform acceptable quality which leads to reduction of particulate matter and gaseous emission is why green crackers are being preferred.
- Toxic metals in traditional crackers are replaced with less hazardous compounds.
- There is reduction in sound as well in green crackers.
Identification of green crackers:
- Green crackers fall only in these three categories- SWAS, SAFAL and STAR
- SWAS is “safe water releaser” and has a small water pocket/droplet which get released when burst, in the form of vapour, thereby suppressing the dust released and does not comprise potassium nitrate and sulphur.
- STAR is the safe thermite cracker, which does not comprise potassium nitrate and sulphur, emits reduced particulate matter disposal and reduced sound intensity.
- SAFAL is safe minimal aluminium which has minimum usage of aluminium, and used magnesium instead. It ensures reduction in sound in comparison to traditional crackers.
- It is suggested not to buy green crackers from street vendors and only from licensed sellers.
- The identification of green crackers can be done through the CSIR NEERI logo. The scanner may be downloaded using the CSIR NEERI green QR code app from Google Play store.
Toxic metals released by traditional crackers:
- White colour emitted through crackers is aluminium, magnesium and titanium,
- Orange colour is carbon or iron.
- Yellow agents are sodium compounds
- Blue and red are copper compounds and strontium carbonates
- Green agent is barium mono chloride salts or barium nitrate or barium chlorate.
- Lead in crackers impact the nervous system
- Copper triggers respiratory tract irritation
- Sodium causes skin issues
- Magnesium leads to mental fume fever
- Cadmium causes anaemia and damages the kidney
- Nitrate is the most harmful that causes mental impairment. The presence of nitrite causes irritation in mucous membrane, eyes and skin.
- The most vulnerable population though are infants, children, pregnant women, elderly and people with underlying medical conditions.
Source: Indian Express