Along with the fun that Diwali offers, the firecrackers bring in air and noise pollution, and occasionally some hazardous effects. As we celebrate Diwali this year, it is important to raise consciousness among the people regarding safe and environment friendly celebrations to make the festival a happy and safe affair for one and all. Here are some health risk you need to be aware about:
1. Risk of asthma attack :
Often during and after Diwali, doctors see an increase in patients having asthmatic attacks due to the congestion in the air. The harmful gasses that are released in the environment when mixed with carbon monoxide from traffic pollution and early winter fog can be extremely harmful for asthma patients. Asthmatic patients are prone to have asthma attacks during this festival. The crackers are one of the aggravating factors for childhood bronchial asthma and there is threat of exposure even if these fireworks are not burnt. These particles are very small (1 to 5 microns in size) and contain metals along with carbon has disastrous after effects.
2. Risk of heart health hazards :
The high decibel noise caused by hundreds of firecrackers also causes unease in heart patients and those who have hypertension. It may lead to high blood pressure, sleeping disturbances. Sudden exposure to loud noise can cause temporary or permanent deafness or even result in heart attacks. Cardiac patients are at a risk too because loud explosions can be harmful to them. All these issues should be taken into account while celebrating Diwali.
3. Risk of burn injuries :
Besides, the most notorious effect of crackers is burn injuries that occur due to accidents or lack of safe practices.
4. Risk of delirium :
In extreme case, some people may experience nausea and temporary delirious state of mind.
5. Risk of nervous health problems :
Suspended particulate matter (SPM) can lead to serious headaches and abridged mental perspicacity. The after-effects are more severe for people suffering from heart, lung or central nervous system diseases and can cause restrictive lung disease, and pneumoconiosis.
6. Risk of respiratory problems :
People with disease of the respiratory system are the hardest hit as there is hardly any escape for them from the congested air. Sulphur dioxide can cause contractions in the respiratory system. Other pollutants can also cause burning in the eye, headaches, and other respiratory problems like pulmonary emphysema. Firecrackers causes chest and throat blockage and is likely to worsen problems for those already suffering from coughs, colds and respiratory allergies. The harmful after-affects may include acute exacerbation of bronchial asthma, eye infections, allergic bronchitis, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases), allergic rhinitis, laryngitis, sinusitis, pneumonia and the number of patients of common cold also increases during Diwali.
7. Risk of skin problems :
There are repercussions for skin too. The air pollution created by harmful chemicals and gases can cause extreme dryness and skin allergies. As much as we love to celebrate Diwali, we must pay attention to the health concerns of the society, especially if we live in populated neighborhoods where the elderly, little children, pregnant women or patients of respiratory or heart diseases may be living.
8. Risk of mental health problems :
Firecrackers produce huge amount of sound pollution that have high decibel levels. They may interfere with the normal functioning of the brain and may result in restlessness, impulsive behaviour, anger, fidgetiness and over-reaction to situations. Children, pregnant women, heart patients and those suffering from respiratory problems suffer the most due to the excessive noise.