Green crackers, which are thought to have a smaller environmental impact, are made without the chemicals used to make traditional crackers, such as carbon, aluminium, barium, potassium, nitrate, or any of the other four
With Diwali just over a week away, the demand for the production and sale of green crackers will catch speed with environmental activists and several individuals advocating the use of green crackers instead of normal crackers.
Well, the air quality index decreases in many states on Diwali and the days that follow as a blanket of smog engulfs these cities. This is hazardous and has an enduring effect on our health leading to several discomforts, primarily breathing.
Thus, taking into account public health, the Supreme Court mandated the production of green crackers in 2018.
The CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute was tasked with producing the green cracker (NEERI).
NEERI then developed a formula to aid in the production of green crackers.
Green crackers are described as safer alternatives to traditional crackers by Sadhana Rayalu, Chief Scientist and Head of the EMD division at CSIR NEERI.
According to Sadhana Rayalu, "These crackers technically have a lower carbon footprint and are designed to be environmentally friendly. These crackers are identical to conventional crackers and contain the same oxidisers that are typically used in conventional crackers. The multipurpose additives, which greatly reduce emissions, are the only differences in these crackers."
By a non-disclosure agreement, the NEERI developed a recipe for green crackers. Only businesses that have entered into a contract with the NEERI are permitted to produce and sell such crackers.
The NEERI-approved mixture is made in Sivakasi by more than 1,000 manufacturers.
These crackers, which are thought to have a smaller environmental impact, are made without the chemicals used to make traditional crackers, such as carbon, aluminium, barium, potassium, nitrate, or any of the other four.
In light of the new green cracker formula, traders have expressed concerns about the crackers' shelf life.
"The CSIR NEERI has provided some additives for green crackers, but as traders, we are aware of how short their shelf lives and reliability are. We cannot even guarantee the consumer because the effects of the chemicals would wear off in three to six months," reported India Today, quoting the president of the Federation of Tamil Nadu Fireworks Traders V Raja Chandrasekaran.
Responding to the question of shelf life, Sadhana said, "The onus lies with the manufacturers as to how long they want the shelf life of the firecracker to be, in the sense that if they are using the correct SOP and correct additive in the right way, then the shelf life and stability of the cracker will be very high."
The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation's (PESO) strict certification process is another problem that manufacturers must solve.
Almost 160 factories are still in operation, and almost 1000 factories have had their licences revoked because they used illegal chemicals.
Sadhana, who is the chief scientist at NEERI, said that producers should try to make materials that are 100% pure.
"A unique NEERI unit would also be established in Sivakasi to assist the manufacturers," reported India Today, quoting her.
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