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Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Indian festivals: Ethos and health impact
"Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated to commemorate the victory of good over evil, of knowledge over ignorance, of light over darkness and of hope over depression and despair...
Decoration with lights and bursting of crackers are salient features of the festival. However, excessive use of crackers has been a matter of concern. Firecrackers increase the concentrations of cobalt, nickel, chromium and cadmium in air.  Studies have also shown that there has been an increase in the particulate matter, sulphur dioxide and NO in air well beyond the safety ranges prescribed in the National Ambient Air Quality Standard , The pollution induces susceptible individuals to develop irritation and inflammation of the respiratory tract and episodes of cough and wheezing. These episodes need to be prevented by minimizing exposure, introducing prophylactic therapy or enhancing doses of prophylactic medications. Besides, burns and a variety of ocular injuries have been reported and are a matter of concern. ,, Hospitals remain on guard to attend patients with burns and other injuries. Restrictions have been put on bursting crackers. Initiatives like 'noiseless' Diwali are also gaining ground..."
Yeolekar ME, Bavdekar SB. Indian festivals: Ethos and health impact. J Postgrad Med 2007;53:219-20 ...