Firecracker labels silent on noise | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Firecracker labels silent on noise

It should be mandatory for firecracker manufacturers to give details about the noise a cracker can make, say activists. Nikhil M Ghanekar reports.

mumbai Updated: Nov 05, 2012 01:42 IST
Nikhil M Ghanekar

It should be mandatory for firecracker manufacturers to give details about the noise a cracker can make, say activists.

Currently, such information is not printed on the packaging, although manufacturers do mention that firecrackers should be burst only between the permissible time-period of 6am to 10pm.

With little information available to consumers about noise levels of different firecrackers sold in the market, activists feel that parents should be more aware about noise pollution as it is eventually they who buy fire-crackers their children use.

“It is only when consumers start demanding less noisy firecrackers will the manufacturers take note. Before a family goes to buy firecrackers, the parents should inform their children about their harmful effects. It has worked and will continue to work gradually,” said Dr Mahesh Bedekar, anti-noise activist and gynaecologist.

“The number of firecrackers burst during a short period of time is what makes it even more dangerous,” added Dr Bedekar.

In the past two months, the Ganeshotsav and Navratri festivals saw noise levels reach record levels, breaching permissible limits on most occasions.

During Ganeshotsav, 121.4 decibel (dB) was the highest noise level, while during Navratri, HT recorded noise levels as high as 110dB during a series on noisy Navratri celebrations.

“During the fire-cracker tests conducted by the pollution control board in 2010, it was seen that the rassi bombs breached even the 145dB permissible mark. The police should enforce the Environment Protection Act at places where many revellers gather to burst noisy crackers, resulting in a deafening atmosphere,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convenor, Awaaz Foundation, a non-governmental organisation.

Meanwhile, at the wholesale fire-cracker markets in Masjid, traders said that buyers are opting for ornamental fire-crackers over noisy bombs.

“Ornamental fire-crackers such as chakri, anar and sparkles form 80% of our sale while the rest is made up of noisy crackers. Buyers are more aware of the noise pollution and ask for colour-emitting firecrackers. Also, there is very little innovation in this industry to change the trend,” said Minesh Mehta, honorary general secretary of Mumbai and Thane District Fireworks Dealers’ Welfare Association.