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Healthy Diwali finds its way in India with the ban on Hazardous Chinese Firecrackers

A pocket-friendly danger gained popularity in India, over the years leading to high levels of pollution

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Firecracker(Representational image). Pixabay
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October 29, 2016: The Festival of lights which is widely celebrated all over India with great pomp seems to have lost its glamor this year because of the ban on the popular Chinese fireworks which over the years became synonymous to Diwali in India. Early this month, Central government banned Chinese firecrackers in India stating that they are hazardous. Moreover, the government never gave any license or permission for the import of such fireworks.

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So, why exactly are Chinese fireworks problematic?

The Chinese firecrackers that make their way into India are undoubtedly pocket-friendly but they contain highly unstable potassium chlorate, a sharp jolt is enough for them to explode. The chemicals used in those Chinese firecrackers are toxic and can cause allergies and skin diseases. Whereas, Indian firecrackers are inert as they use potassium and sodium nitrates which make it safer.

In India, since 1992 the use of potassium chlorate in firecrackers has been banned and is only permitted in small quantities and for specific purposes like for manufacturing match heads, for scientific purposes and other such things.

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China, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of firecrackers, makes a wide range of these products containing Potassium chlorate or perchlorate in firecrackers which make them burn brighter and last longer. Also, the cost of potassium chlorate is almost third that of potassium or sodium nitrate. So, a pocket-friendly danger gained popularity in India, over the years leading to high levels of pollution. High amount sulphur and potassium chlorate in those crackers produces toxic oxides which in turn cause eye irritation, prolonged exposure can even lead to bronchitis and other health issues.

China, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of firecrackers, makes a wide range of these products. Potassium chlorate or perchlorate in firecrackers makes it burn brighter and last longer. Also, the cost of potassium chlorate is almost third that of potassium or sodium nitrate. So, a pocket-friendly danger gained popularity in India, over the years leading to high levels of pollution. High amount sulphur and potassium chlorate in those crackers produces toxic oxides which in turn cause eye irritation, prolonged exposure can even lead to bronchitis and other health issues.

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According to The Indian Express, “Fireworks worth Rs 1,500 crore are smuggled into India each year. Crackers worth Rs 9 crore were seized from the inland depot in Tughlakabad earlier this month.”

– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi

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  • Antara

    This ban was extremely important! Hoping for a pollution-free celebration!

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393