In recent years, the increasing use of fireworks in New Year celebrations has been discussed around the world and the harmful effects of explosives are often cited by many experts.
So environmentalists are asking the question, should we stop using fireworks when celebrating the New Year?
The use of fireworks is generally associated with teenagers and millennials living in the urban fringes of Bangladesh, mainly Dhaka, who find it to be one of the few viable options for celebration.
However, people from previous generations are not very impressed with such a celebratory idea, especially older people who are sensitive to various complexities related to the heart.
Fahim Shahriar Priyo, an undergraduate student at Dhaka University, remains concerned about his grandmother during the New Year celebration.
“My grandmother is 85 years old and she suffers from many heart problems. Any high-pitched sound causes him problems. »
“Therefore, every 31st night, we have to be very careful so that she doesn’t have to put up with the noise caused by the fireworks,” Fahim told the writer.
“I know how much it means to people of our generation, but people should be a little sensitive and considerate of older people when it comes to fireworks.”
This is one of many problems caused by the heavy use of fireworks.
Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, has consistently ranked among the world’s worst cities for air pollution, and with increasing urbanization, Dhaka’s biodiversity has also been hampered.
Once upon a time, Dhaka’s twittering parties are now non-existent. Many birds like kites, which were abundant in the University of Dhaka area only a few years ago, are not so common now.
No official investigation or research has been done yet, however, a sad case in America can be mentioned. In 2010, 5,000 red-winged blackbirds died in Arkansas due to the illegal use of professional-grade fireworks during New Year’s Eve.
Environmental scientists have widely considered fireworks to be a major reason for declining bird populations in many places around the world.
Fireworks are universal in terms of appeal. A recent statistic revealed that in the United States, fireworks market revenue is USD 2265 million in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 2935 million in 2025.
Americans, in general, use about 30,000 tons of fireworks a year. Although such data is not available in Bangladesh, it can be assumed that the use of these explosives is increasing sharply.
Environmental experts, in general, are quite suspicious when it comes to fireworks and they don’t want this practice to continue.
While speaking to the writer, Professor Dr Ahmad Kamruzzaman Majumder, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Chairman of the Department of Environmental Science at Stamford University, who also happens to be the founder and Director of the Center for air pollution studies, said:
“Fireworks are generally quite harmful to the environment. They cause both large-scale air and noise pollution.
“According to a statistic of the past 3 years, it was found that after the 31st night celebrations with fireworks, air pollution increased by 30% from the previous level and noise pollution increased by 40% from the previous level.”
Prof. Majumdar, who is also Joint Secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), an organization committed to environmental protection, added in his statement:
“This reckless use of fireworks must stop. There should be very specific laws to completely ban the use of fireworks on any occasion.”
However, there are objections to the complete ban on fireworks. Jayedul Islam Antor from Dhaka cantonment is a fan of fireworks.
“Most of the developed countries in the world have not banned fireworks, people need something to cheer up after their busy monotonous schedules and a new year celebration with colorful Dhaka sky provides exactly that.”
“I agree, some types of explosives should never be used in the name of fireworks, but depriving people of a few moments of harmless fun is also not a good thing,” Antor remarked. . However, he did not explain why he considered the fireworks “harmless”.
Mahter Ra’d Ankon, a 3rd year management student at the University of Chittagong, has opposing views to those of Antor.
“I come to Dhaka during holidays to spend some quality time with my family. I don’t stay much in Dhaka because of my studies. But every 31st night I wish I could stay away from Dhaka because of the amount of noise I must hear.”
The subject has become controversial around the world, although fireworks have yet to be completely banned in any country. Some countries, however, have placed restrictions on fireworks purchases.
A comprehensive solution regarding this subject should be found so that people can enjoy New Year’s Eve with minimal or no damage to the environment.