Even as sound levels of single-unit firecrackers, including ‘ atom bombs’ and ‘sutli bombs,’ have marginally declined compared to last year, noise level tests conducted on Thursday revealed that most firecrackers exceeded 100 dB. In fact, some, such as the aerial series of firecrackers even produced noise levels greater than 120 dB.
Awaaz Foundation, an anti-noise campaigner and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) tested 15 samples of firecrackers at RCF grounds, Chembur. The noise levels were measured at a distance of four metres from the point of bursting and of the five single unit samples, four recorded decibel levels within the permissible limits of 125dB.
The team also tested multiple-unit firecrackers with 1,000, 2,000 and 5,000 shells, and aerial firecrackers. Despite a decibel limit of 105 dB for series crackers, all except one exceeded the limit. Moreover, most firecracker samples did not have the mandatory mention of decibel levels on the wrapper.
Of the two samples where the decibel levels were mentioned on the wrapper, the readings exceeded the printed information.
Sumaira Abdulali, convenor, Awaaz Foundation, said, “The police arms and ammunition wing should track firecrackers that produce more than 120 dB of sound as illegal and should confiscate t hem. However, the decibel levels of single firecrackers are lesser this year.”
“The test will help determine which firecrackers can be used in silent zones and residential areas. This time, aerial series crackers seem to be exceeding the decibel (dB) limits. We will take necessary action,” said VM Motghare, joint director, MPCB.