Toxic ingredients in Firecrackers

#GS3 #Environment #Science


  • The Supreme Court said a preliminary enquiry by the CBI into the firecracker industry, including in Tamil Nadu, revealed rampant violation of its ban on use of toxic ingredients like barium and its salts.


  • Taking into consideration the pollution levels and the role firecrackers played in exacerbating it, the Supreme Court in October 2018 banned the sale, use and manufacture of crackers that weren’t ‘green’.
  • This meant that the crackers couldn’t be loud beyond a certain limit, had to be approved by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) and had to be free of mercury, arsenic and barium. However, compliant crackers weren’t available in the market.


  • It is a dense alkaline earth metal. 
  • Barium occurs naturally in ore deposits and makes up 0.05% of the Earth’s crust. 
  • Barium and its compounds may be found in nature or produced industrially for various uses.
  • Its colour is silvery-white. 
  • Barium can be found naturally. It can be found in combined form with other chemicals, such as carbon, oxygen, and sulfur.
  • It is a very light metal with only half of the density of iron.
  • Barium oxidizes in air, reacts vigorously with water to form the hydroxide, liberating hydrogen. 
  • Barium also reacts with most non-metals, forming often poisoning compounds.
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