We already know that bursting firecrackers not only increases air pollution levels, but also put you at risk of several health problems with the most prominent ones being respiratory problems like asthma.
And that’s why cases of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) actually double during Diwali, where bursting firecrackers is an integral part of the celebration.
How can firecrackers harm the body
A number of studies have shown that firecrackers can have severe effects in people with heart disease, respiratory or nervous system disorders. It can also aggravate problem for people suffering from common cold and coughs as well as cause congestion of throat and chest.
Also, noise pollution has been linked to restlessness, temporary or permanent hearing loss, high blood pressure, sleep disturbance, and even poor cognitive development in kids. While noise at 85 decibels above can damage hearing, fireworks can be loud and can exceed 140 decibels.
Firecracker contains chemicals and substances – such as cadmium, lead, chromium, aluminium, magnesium, nitrates, carbon monoxide, copper, potassium, sodium, zinc oxide, manganese dioxide – which can accumulate and eventually damage your health if inhaled, ingested or enter the body. Moreover, these toxic fumes and gases can stay in the atmosphere for quite some time, so one can succumb to respiratory issues even during the days after Diwali. Hence, experts warned that people should stay away from cracker pollution during Diwali.
What you can do to avoid health risks
Here are a few tips to deal with air pollution during and after Diwali:
- The best way to keep the celebration fun and safe is to avoid firecrackers.
- Try to stay indoors, keep windows and doors closed – this is even more important for pregnant women, newborns, kids, and the elderly, and those with chronic conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, etc.
- People suffering from asthma or bronchitis should take medicines regularly during this period to keep the symptoms under control as well as prevent severe attacks.
- Asthmatic should always keep their inhalers handy.
- Seek medical help in case of any sign of increased breathlessness.
- While outdoors, wear protective eye gear to prevent entry of particles into the eye and irritation by fumes.
- Wear face masks, prefebably N-100 rated face masks, when stepping out of home.
- People, especially with heart or lung diseases, elderly and children, should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.
- Avoid exercising early in the morning, instead exercise indoors.
- Eat healthy, balanced diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables to boost immunity.
- Try to avoid oily foods that may upset your digestion and make you feel suffocated.
- Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.