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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 70-75

Promotion of eco-friendly Diwali: A students' perspective


1 Department of Community Medicine, PCMCs, Post Graduate Institute, Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University) Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Symbiosis Medical College for Women and Symbiosis University Hospital and Research Centre, Symbiosis International (Deemed University), Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission21-Jul-2022
Date of Decision24-Aug-2022
Date of Acceptance05-Sep-2022
Date of Web Publication29-Sep-2022

Correspondence Address:
Abhijit Vishwajit Nimbalkar
Sr. No. 24/5/3, Laxmi Niwas, Katraj- Kondwa Road, Katraj, Pune, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ed.ed_16_22

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  Abstract 


Background: Diwali is a major festival in India and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor. Due to bursting of firecrackers on large scale during Diwali releases harmful gases and toxic substances into the atmosphere leading to air pollution. It causes health problems for children, patients, and senior citizens.
Objectives: The objective of this study was (1) To assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice of school-going students regarding the use of firecrackers. (2) To determine the prevalence of symptoms related to bursting of firecrackers among students and their families. (3) To find out the association between students' knowledge about health effects of firecrackers and their parents' education.
Materials and Methods: An observational, cross-sectional study was done by using self-administered, validated, and pretested pro forma. The study was conducted in all schools located within 250 m2 of distance from the urban health training center of a private medical college. There were three schools falling under these criteria. All 8th standard students (215) of these three schools were included in the study.
Results: Out of the total, 77% were boys. Many, i.e. 63% of students burst firecrackers during Diwali. The majority of students, i.e. 67% have knowledge about health effects of firecrackers. The majority, i.e. 80% of students promote eco-friendly Diwali celebration. The use of firecrackers was highly significant among boys (<0.001) and whose parent's education was below graduate level (<0.001). Symptoms of cough (30%), shortness of breath (22%), and eye injuries (3%) were reported due to bursting crackers.
Conclusions: Overall knowledge about health effects of crackers was higher among students whose father's education was graduate and above. Thus, students have a positive attitude toward eco-friendly Diwali celebration.

Keywords: Attitude, and practice, Eco-friendly and healthy-friendly Diwali, firecrackers, knowledge, school students


How to cite this article:
Nimbalkar AV, Gothankar JS, Patil RS, Pandve HT. Promotion of eco-friendly Diwali: A students' perspective. Environ Dis 2022;7:70-5

How to cite this URL:
Nimbalkar AV, Gothankar JS, Patil RS, Pandve HT. Promotion of eco-friendly Diwali: A students' perspective. Environ Dis [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 7];7:70-5. Available from: http://www.environmentmed.org/text.asp?2022/7/3/70/357450




  Introduction Top


Diwali or Deepavali, also known as the festival of lights, is a major festival in India and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor.[1] Indian people celebrate Diwali with firecrackers. These firecrackers not only cause air pollution but also cause noise pollution. Crackers are injurious to senior citizens' and childrens' health. Crackers not only are injurious to humans but also to other beings such as animals and birds. In the Indian scenario, noise pollution is a regular phenomenon, especially in urban areas. The sources of noise pollution are usually multiplied during festivals like Diwali, in which firecrackers are responsible for noise pollution which further lead to temporary or permanent deafness.[2],[3]

The health hazards of firecrackers used to celebrate the festival are not known to most people. Most people believe that the greater the fireworks, the better the celebrations. However, very few people stop to think just how harmful these crackers are for the environment.

All Diwali crackers contain a large amount of toxic substances. Crackers often lead to various health problems such as temporary or permanent deafness, irritation in the respiratory tract, nausea, vomiting, headache, irritation of the eyes, and skin rashes and burns. Crackers can also cause kidney damage, and anemia, and has harmful effect on the nervous system, metal fume fever, etc.[4],[5]

The ingredients in the firecrackers such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter are air pollutants. Moreover, it can lead to variation in the ambient air quality.[6],[7],[8] Firecrackers can also lead to burns and eye injuries during various festivals.[9],[10]

The smoke which is produced from the firecrackers can also cause the deadliest health effect such as acute eosinophilic pneumonia.[11]

The general population is always unaware of the recent environmental issues as a result of which the pollution is rising on a daily basis. This may be due to the increasing number of automobile vehicles, various industries, or indoor pollution. In addition, there is also a sudden rise in pollution during the festivals due to excessive fireworks.[12]

Various awareness activities are being carried out in schools and also by some nongovernmental organizations working in the field of environment. However, no literature is available regarding students' perspectives on the environmental hazards of pollution due to Diwali and the importance of eco-friendly Diwali and healthy-friendly Diwali. Therefore, there is a need to access the knowledge of school-going students about hazards of crackers so that they can give this information to their close people.

Hence, this study was done to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice of school-going children regarding the use of firecrackers, the effects of bursting firecrackers on them.


  Materials and Methods Top


This study was a cross-sectional study, which was done in the schools under the urban field practice area of a private medical college in Pune City.

Study population was comprised of school students

The study period including data collection, data entry, and analysis was 3 months.

Sampling technique, all schools located within 250 m2 distance around the urban health training center were selected. Four schools were eligible under this criterion.

The sample size was all 389 students of the 8th standard morning shift in selected schools were included in the study. Students present on the day of data collection were included in the study. Investigators brainstormed about the questions to ask in the pro forma after careful evaluation. The questions which are more relevant and easy to understand by the students were selected. The same questions were prevalidated and used for data collection in the form of self-administered, prevalidated, and pretested pro forma.

Methodology

The study was conducted after the approval of the ethics committee. Permissions from principals of the schools were taken before start of study. Data were collected by the investigator without disturbing the schedules of classes. Parents' information sheets, informed consent forms, and assent forms were given before actual data collection.

A self-administered pro forma was given to students and instructions to fill the pro forma were discussed with them. A time of 20 min was given to fill pro forma without discussing it with other students.

Plan of data analysis

The collected data were coded and entered into a Microsoft Excel sheet. Data were analyzed using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (IBM), Armonk, New York) version 25.0 software.

The results were presented in tabular and graphical formats. For qualitative data, various rates, ratios, and percentages (%) were calculated. For Quantitative data, the mean, standard deviation, and median were calculated. The Chi-square/Fisher's exact test was used to find the association between the variables two-tailed P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.


  Results Top


The principal of one school refused to conduct a study. Therefore, we did a study in three schools. Among them, one was a boys' school. Among three schools, the strength of 8th standard students was 300. However, only 215 (71.6%) were took part in the study, the remaining were absent on the day of data collection.

Among 215 students, 166 (77%) were boys and 49 (23%) were girls [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Sex-wise distribution of the students

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Education profile of the mother

The majority, i.e. 15.8% of the mothers were educated till graduation, followed by 14.0% up to the secondary level [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Mother education profile

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Education profile of the father

The majority, i.e. 23.3% of the fathers were educated till secondary level, followed by 17.2% up to the graduation level [Figure 3].
Figure 3: Father education profile

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Knowledge of the study participants

The majority, i.e. 167 (77.7%) students had knowledge that firecrackers have a bad effect on health. While 203 (94.4%) students know that bursting firecrackers leads to pollution.

The majority, i.e. 145 (67.4%) students reported that firecrackers cause air pollution followed by noise pollution 137 (63.7%). Almost 50% of students state that firecrackers can cause burns and respiratory problems [Table 1].
Table 1: Knowledge of school students about health effects of firecrackers (n=215)

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Attitude of the study participants

The majority, i.e. 191 (88.8%) students like to celebrate Diwali, but among them, 183 (85.1%) students have an attitude that bursting firecrackers is really bad. While 171 (79.5%) students like to promote eco-friendly (firecrackers less) Diwali. Among them, 159 (74.0%) students think that eco-friendly Diwali celebration is a valuable new trend in today's era [Table 2].
Table 2: Attitude of school students regarding bursting of firecrackers (n=215)

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Practices of the study participants

The majority, i.e. 63.7% of students celebrated Diwali with firecrackers [Figure 4].
Figure 4: Percentage of students using firecrackers

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While bursting the firecrackers majority of students took certain precautions. Multiple responses were reported about the precautions took by the students while bursting the crackers. The majority, i.e. 137 (63.7%) students reported most important precaution that maintaining a face away from the crackers. While 128 (59.5%) students used incense sticks instead of matchboxes to burn the crackers [Table 3].
Table 3: Practices of school students about firecrackers (n=215)

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Prevalence of symptoms due to firecrackers

The majority of students reported respiratory problems like cough (30.2%) followed by shortness of breath (21.9%). While 36 (16.7%) students had injuries to the hand followed by injuries to the leg, i.e. 20 (9.3%). Injuries to the face were reported by 14 (6.5%) students, whereas injuries to the eyes were reported by 7 (3.3%) students. Complaints like eye discharge were reported by 38 (17.7%) students followed by eye ache 30 (14.0%). The majority, i.e. 18 (8.4%) students reported hearing impairment, whereas 16 (7.4%) reported fever followed by burns 9 (4.2%) [Table 4].
Table 4: Prevalence of symptoms due to firecrackers*

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The management of symptoms reported by the students is the majority, i.e. 53 (24.7%) were took medicine from private doctors, took home remedy 38 (17.7%), whereas 29 (13.5%) were got hospitalized for treatment [Table 5]. This table gives idea about health seeking behavior and it is one of the important practices to note after being injured due to firecrackers.
Table 5: Management of injury due to firecrackers*

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Association between participants' knowledge about health effects of firecrackers and their parents' education

There is a significant association between knowledge about health effects of firecrackers as well as the practice of using firecrackers along with gender, father education, and attitude toward the possibility to celebrate Diwali without crackers and eco-friendly Diwali promotion [Table 6].
Table 6: Association of students' knowledge, attitude, and practice about health effects of firecrackers with important demographic variables

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  Discussion Top


This study was done to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice of school-going children regarding the use of firecrackers and the effects of bursting firecrackers on them.

Even after rigorous literature review, we did not find any scientific study conducted among Indian school-going children so we decided to carry out this study.

In our study, 80.9% of students reported respiratory problems among them and family members, these results are consistent with finding reported by Sharma where respiratory problems during Diwali were 67.7%.[13] They also reported burns (23.0%), hearing problems (67.7%), and irritation of the eyes (3.3%). These results differed from our study results, where the prevalence of burns was (4.2%), hearing problems (8.4%), and irritation of the eyes (10.7%). Sundelin and Norrsell[14] did a study in Sweden to rule out the morbidity caused due to firecrackers during the 3 years. They found 52 patients with eye injuries and 28 patients who are having injuries other than the eye. They reported facial injuries at 25%, but in our study, we found facial injuries at 6.5%. This might be due to taking precautions such as maintaining the face away from the crackers while bursting the crackers. In our study, we found burns at 4.2%, whereas the cases of burns reported by Sundelin K were 57%.[14] Less number of burns in our study might be due to taking precautions such as using full-sleeved clothes while bursting the crackers, using incense sticks instead of match box or lighter to burst the firecrackers as well as to burn the crackers in the presence of parents. In our study, we found hearing problem at 8.4% and injuries to the hand at 16.7%, whereas Sundelin et al found 3.5% hearing problems and 7.1% injuries to the hand this result contrast with our study findings.[14]

Whereas similar to our study, a study done in Iran had 10 patients with face injuries and seven patients had injuries to the eyes.[15]

In our study, found seven patients, i.e. 3.3% of eye injuries, and their results resemble with study findings of Mohan et al. where the prevalence of eye injuries was 2%.[16]

In our study, the students and their parents who had effects on health were got certain management as follows.

Around 9.8% were did nothing for the health effect; while 17.7% took home remedies. While 24.7% of people took treatment from private doctors.

Similarly, Sharma et al.[13] have reported similar management in their study. However, in their study, the majority of people, i.e. 73.6% did nothing for the health effects. It might be due to they are not concerned about their health or they might be more knowledgeable enough for which health effect they should have treatment. While 12.2% of people went to private doctors. Another reason for a greater number than our study is Sharma et al. did a detail household survey, involving adult populations also. That is why detailed and thorough information was sought. Whereas in our study, we took information from the students as per their knowledge.

There is good knowledge about hazards of the firecrackers among the students, but surprisingly there is no practice of not using firecrackers during the celebration of Diwali. This aspect is required to be studied in detail with more rigorous study designs like qualitative research.


  Conclusions Top


The majority of students have knowledge that firecrackers lead to pollution. Overall knowledge about health effects of crackers was more among students whose fathers' education is above graduation. The majority of students have taken safety precautions while bursting the crackers.

The majority of students would like to promote eco-friendly Diwali. Students have a positive attitude toward eco-friendly and healthy-friendly Diwali celebration.

Recommendations

Schools can act as a potential source of disseminating information to the community through students about hazards of firecrackers. This topic needs to be included in the school curriculum.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

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Viji A. Let us Pledge for an Eco-Friendly and Ailment-Free Diwali. 2015. Available from: http://www.mapsofindia.com/my-india/india/let-us-pledge-for-an-eco-friendly-diwali. [Last accessed on 2016 Oct 25].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Emily H. Harmful Effects of Bursting Crackers. 2015. Available from: www.healthcuretips.com/harmful effects of bursting crackers/. [Last accessed on 2016 Oct 25].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Pandve HT, Chawla PS. Noise pollution: Recent challenges in Indian scenario. Noise Health 2014;16:248.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
4.
Eco Friendly Diwali – IndiaParenting.com Available from: http://www.indiaparenting.com/indian-culture/70_1569/eco-friendly-diwali.html. [Last accessed on 2016 Oct 25].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
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Chauhan V, Singh B, Shree G. Status of air pollution during festival of lights (Diwali) in Jhansi, Bundelkhand region, India. Asian J Sci Technol 2014;5:187-91.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Verma C, Deshmukh DK. The ambient air and noise quality in India during Diwali festival: A review. Recent Res Sci Technol 2014;6:203-10.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Barman SC, Singh R, Negi MP, Bhargava SK. Ambient air quality of Lucknow City (India) during use of fireworks on Diwali Festival. Environ Monit Assess 2008;137:495-504.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
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Ravindra K, Mor S, Kaushik CP. Short-term variation in air quality associated with firework events: A case study. J Environ Monit 2003;5:260-4.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
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Patel R, Mukherjee B. Crash and burn: Ocular injuries due to fireworks. Semin Ophthalmol 2016;31:243-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Saadat S, Mafi M, Smith GA. Higher education does not protect against firework-related injuries: A review of the economic burden and the risk factors of firework-related injuries in the capital of Iran. Public Health 2012;126:40-6.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Hirai K, Yamazaki Y, Okada K, Furuta S, Kubo K. Acute eosinophilic pneumonia associated with smoke from fireworks. Intern Med 2000;39:401-3.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
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Pandve HT. The Asian brown cloud. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2008;12:93-5.  Back to cited text no. 12
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13.
Sharma S, Nayak H, Lal P. Post-Diwali morbidity survey in a resettlement colony of Delhi. Indian J Burns 2015;23:76.  Back to cited text no. 13
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14.
Sundelin K, Norrsell K. Eye injuries from fireworks in Western Sweden. Acta Ophthalmol Scand 2000;78:61-4.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Hatamabadi HR, Tabatabaey A, Heidari K, Khoramian MK. Firecracker injuries during Chaharshanbeh Soori festival in Iran: A case series study. Arch Trauma Res 2013;2:46-9.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Mohan K, Dhir SP, Shishko MN, Krewi A, Mabruka S. Ocular fireworks injuries in children. J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus 1991;28:354-5.  Back to cited text no. 16
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]



 

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