How toxic are your favourite firecrackers?

By Gurman Bhatia

Illustrations by Malay Karmakar

28th October, 2016 Data last updated: October 10, 2017

Diwali is the worst time for India's air. Each time you burst a cracker, it produces a lot of poisonous dust. Scientists call this particulate matter. The tiniest particles (PM 2.5) are the most dangerous.

How toxic are different crackers? Use our pollution meter to find out.

The pollution in your city is already really bad and you haven't even burnt any crackers.

PM 2.5 near you

Your air
Pollution around you

ClickTap on a cracker to burst it and see how that affects the air that you breathe.






Snake tablet


Air quality data for different cities is an average sourced from Hindustan Times' air quality portal. Data on how much pollution different crackers cause is based on a study by the Pune-based Chest Research Foundation (CRF). The study was conducted in an open area and measured PM 2.5 values from a distance that one would ideally maintain from a given cracker. According to the study, the affect of firecrackers on your immediate surroundings diminishes over time but the times varies depending on the pollutant. The simulation takes that time into account. Data was last updated at 4:30 p.m. on October 10, 2017.