New firecrackers that emit up to 35 per cent less soot and gases are ready for release in the market, government scientists who developed the “green crackers” announced on Saturday.
Firecracker makers have obtained approvals for the green crackers from the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation, the regulatory agency that clears all commercial firecrackers and explosives, the scientists said.
The green crackers — developed by scientists in a network of laboratories under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research — include a range of sound and light emitting devices such as flowerpots, pencils, and sparklers.
They will display a green logo and codes that will allow consumers to differentiate them from conventional crackers, senior CSIR scientists said.
The CSIR has signed non-disclosure technology transfer agreements with 165 firecracker makers for production of the new range of crackers, the CSIR said in a press release.
This project was aimed at addressing concerns relating to air pollution from conventional firecrackers while simultaneously protecting the livelihoods of the people in the firecracker industry, the Union science and technology minister Harsh Vardhan said.
The firecracker makers who signed pacts with CSIR have collectively received about 530 emissions testing certificates for the new and improved formulations that meet the stipulated guidelines for green crackers, said Rajesh Kumar, director of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur, that coordinated the developmental effort.
India’s fireworks industry has an estimated turnover of about Rs 6,000 crore and provides direct or indirect employment to over 500,000 families, CSIR scientists said.
A 2018 study published by researchers Dhananjay Ghei and Renuka Sane had estimated based on data between 2013 and 2017 that Diwali over a
period of two days adds about 40 microgram per cubic metre of PM 2.5 microns concentration.
The number may appear small, but it is high considering the already poor air quality around Diwali, they said in their study published in the journal PLOS One.