‘Noise level labels impractical’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Noise level labels impractical’

It would be difficult to print details about noise levels of a firecracker on its packaging, as even firecrackers of the same type generate different noise levels, say Officials of the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation, Nikhil M Ghanekar reports.

mumbai Updated: Nov 06, 2012 01:22 IST
Nikhil M Ghanekar

It would be difficult to print details about noise levels of a firecracker on its packaging, as even firecrackers of the same type generate different noise levels, say Officials of the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation.

“Every atom bomb (a type of firecracker) is assembled individually by workers, and hence the noise levels of each firecracker differs. Thus, instead of printing a single decibel value, we ask the manufacturers to print the permissible limit,” said a senior official from PESO on the condition of anonymity.

PESO had made it clear in the Explosive Rules, 2008, that it is mandatory to state a firecracker will not generate noise above 125 decibels (dB), which is the permissible limit. However, firecrackers available in the market do not mention that the noise they make is below 125 dB.

Activists were unhappy with PESO’s decision to not insist on the printing the specific decibel level of firecrackers on its packaging.

“If they don’t know the specific noise levels generated by the items sold in the market, it is of no use printing a disclaimer stating that the firecracker’s noise is within permissible limits,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convenor, Awaaz Foundation, a non-government organisation.

“This means that PESO cannot guarantee that an atom bomb or a rocket will not exceed the permissible noise limits,” added Abdulali.

After Awaaz Foundation proposed a joint testing of firecrackers on October 26, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board has agreed to conduct joint testing on Thursday.

Meanwhile, representatives of the fireworks dealers association, feel that printing firecracker noise levels on their packaging won’t be of much help.

“Very few consumers ask about the noise levels of firecrackers and their hazardous nature, so it won’t be exactly useful to print a figure on the packaging that they won’t understand,” said Minesh Mehta, honoraray general secretary of Mumbai and Thane District Fireworks Dealers’ Welfare Association.

Commenting on the joint-testing of firecrackers, environment secretary Valsa Nair-Singh said, “We hope to sensitise the citizens to check the decibel parameters on the labels when they purchase firecrackers.”