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Lights, Sound, Chemical Reaction

Lights, Sound, Chemical Reaction

Types of Firecrackers and their Composition


These include atom bombs, sutli bomb and even a chain or a string of a thousand crackers.

Chemicals: A black powder, also known as gun powder, which contain charcoal, sulphur and potassium nitrate. A tight paper tube with a fuse is used to light the powder.

Metal: A composition used in a firecracker might have aluminum instead of or in addition to charcoal to brighten the explosion

Gun Powder = Charcoal + Potassium nitrate + Sulphur


These include all types of rockets or those that shoot up in the air and then explode.

Chemicals: These, too, contain the black powder which include charcoal, sulphur, potassium nitrate.

Metal: Aluminium


These include all fireworks that burn up to a minute and produce extremely bright and showery light such as anar, chakri and sparklers.

Chemicals: These include charcoal, sulphur, aluminum perchlorate or barium nitrate. A variety of chemicals are added to produce vibrant colours.

Metal:  Iron or steel powder. Also, it is very common for fireworks to contain aluminum zinc or magnesium dust to create bright, shimmering sparks.

Health Hazards of Chemicals and Metals Present in Firecrackers

ALUMINIUM: High levels could cause toxicity.  People with kidney problems and older people are more vulnerable.

Effects: It can cause skeletal and neuro-muscular problems, apart from weaknewss, bone pain, digestive problems, confusion, headache, heartburn, emotional instability, disturbed sleep.

SULPHUR DIOXIDE: Exposure to very high levels can be life-threatening.

Effects: It can cause heart, eye, hearing, liver and kidney damage, stomach disorder, suffocation and disturb blood circulation.

POTASSIUM NITRATE: It can irritate respiratory track.

Effects: It can cause shortness of breath, gastric and stomach pain, dizziness, bloody diarrhea, convulsions, mental impairment, redness or itching of skin or eyes.

BARIUM: Certain compounds like barium acetate are highly poisonous.

Effects: Mild exposure can cause muscle fatigue or weakness, difficulty in breathing, blood pressure changes, facial numbness, gastrointestinal disorders, vomiting, diarrhea and cramps.

Colours of Hazard

Colours of Hazard

Chemicals compounds used as colourants in fireworks, and their impact on health.

Blazing Reds Lithium Compounds Toxic, irritating fumes when burnt
Glittering Greens Barium Nitrate Can irritate respiratory tract, have possible radioactive fallout
Brilliant Whites Aluminium Contact dermatitis, bio-accumulation
Blues Copper Compounds Cancer risk, bio-accumulation
Glitters Effects Antimony sulphide Toxic smoke, possible carcinogen


Sulphur Dioxide Acid rain
Potassium Nitrate Carcinogenic, toxic dust
Ammonium / Potassium Perchlorate Contaminate ground water, may cause thyroid problems
Lead Dioxide / Nitrate / Chloride Development danger for unborn children, poisonous
Mercury Toxic heavy metal, bio-accumulation
Nitric Oxide Toxic, if inhaled
Nitrogen Dioxide Highly toxic, if inhaled
Ozone Greenhouse Gas
Strontium Compounds Can replace calcium in body, toxic

How a specific exploding firework performs depends on how its four primary ingredients – oxidizer, fuel, colouring agents, and binder – combine.

Burning requires oxygen – the oxidisers in fireworks are chemicals that release oxygen to allow the explosion to take place. Nitrates, chlorates and perchlorates are used most commonly.

Safety for Firework

Safety for Firework

Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated with fervor and gaiety by the people of every faith in India.

A celebration takes no time to turn to a disaster for a missing small precaution. Last year the night of Diwali turned into dark as many persons reached different hospitals of country with eye and burn injuries.

Mishandling of firecrackers can cause

  • Burns
  • Eye injuries
  • Hearing loss,
  • Sleeping disturbances and
  • Sudden exposure to loud noise can cause temporary or permanent deafness or even result in heart attack .
  • Pets such as dogs and cats also suffer on account of firecrackers as animals have a more sensitive sense of hearing than humans.

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