Analysis of Atmospheric Pollutants During Fireworks Festival ‘Diwali’ at a Residential Site Delhi in India

  • Pallavi SaxenaEmail author
  • Anju Srivastava
  • Shivangi Verma
  • Shweta
  • Lakhwinder Singh
  • Saurabh Sonwani
Part of the Energy, Environment, and Sustainability book series (ENENSU)


Globally, a number of firework events have been celebrated on a large scale in the names of different festivals. Diwali is one among the popular Indian festival held during October or November every year with huge fireworks. In the present study, various air pollutants like nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and ozone (O3) were analyzed in pre, during and post Diwali in two consecutive years i.e. October 2016 and October 2017 in capital city of India, Delhi. The results showed that the background values of particulate matter are exceeding 5–6 times in 2016 and 7–8 times in 2017 than permissible limits set by National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), India. In Diwali-2016, the highest PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations were about 8 times and 7 times higher than NAAQS limits respectively. For Diwali-2017, there was rapid increase in PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations that were about 10 times and 13 times higher than NAAQS threshold value respectively. Moreover, PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations in 2017, higher than 2016 were found to be 5–8 times more as compared to background concentrations. However, the concentrations of NOx and O3 look similar during background event, pre Diwali, Diwali and post Diwali periods in both the years of 2016 and 2017. The huge Diwali induced air pollution is influenced by transboundary air mass movements from nearby regions of Delhi and adjoining countries in both the selected years of 2016 and 2017 particularly in case of particulate matter in Diwali and Post Diwali. The study concludes that during background and in and around Diwali period receives the air masses containing the emissions from biomass burning which significantly increases the air pollution load.


Air pollution Fireworks Diwali Delhi 


  1. Agrawal A, Upadhyayl VK, Sachdeva K (2011) Study of aerosol behavior on the basis of morphological characteristics during festival events in India. Atmos Environ 45(21):3640–3644CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ambade B, Ghosh S (2013) Characterization of PM10 in the ambient air during Deepawali festival of Rajnandgaon district, India. Nat Hazards 69:589–598CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Attri AK, Kumar U, Jain VK (2001) Microclimate: formation of O3 by fireworks. Nature 411(6841):1015CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bach W, Daniels A, Dickinson L, Hertlein F, Morrow J, Margolis S, Dinh V (1975) Fireworks pollution and health. Pol J Environ Stud 7:183–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barman SC, Singh R, Negi MPS, Bhargava SK (2009) Fine particles (PM2.5) in ambient air of Lucknow city due to fireworks on Diwali festival. J Environ Biol 30(5):625–632Google Scholar
  6. CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) (2010). Ambient air and noise pollution levels—Deepawali 2010. Press Release, Delhi, pp 1–8Google Scholar
  7. Deka JP, Baruah B, Singh S, Chaudhury R, Prakash A, Bhattacharyya P, Kumar M (2015) Tracing phosphorous distributions in the surficial sediments of two eastern Himalayan high altitude lakes through sequential extraction, multivariate and HYSPLIT back trajectory analyses. Environ Earth Sci 73(11):7617–7629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Draxler R, Rolph G (2014) HYSPLIT (HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) Model access via NOAA. NOAA Air Resources Laboratory ARL READY Website
  9. Drewnick F, Hings SS, Curtius J, Eerdekens G, Williams J (2006) Measurement of fine particulate and gasphase species during the New Year’s fireworks 2005 in Mainz, Germany. Atmos Environ 40:4316–4327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Escudero M, Stein A, Draxler RR, Querol X, Alastuey A, Castillo S, Avila A (2006) Determination of the contribution of northern Africa dust source areas to PM10 concentrations over the central Iberian Peninsula using the Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory model (HYSPLIT) model. J Geophys Res: Atmos 111(D6)Google Scholar
  11. Fleischer O, Wichmann H, Lorenz W (1999) Release of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans by setting off fireworks. Chemosphere 39:925–932CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ganguly ND (2009) Surface ozone pollution during the festival of Diwali, New Delhi, India. J Earth Sci India 2(4):224–229Google Scholar
  13. GNCT of Delhi report, 2011–2012, Transport Department, pp 1–175Google Scholar
  14. Khaiwal R, Mor S, Kaushik CP (2003) Short-term variation in air quality associated with firework events: a case study. J Environ Monit 5:260–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kulshrestha UC, Rao TN, Azhaguvel S, Kulshrestha MJ (2004) Emissions and accumulation of metals in the atmosphere due to crackers and sparkles during Diwali festival in India. Atmos Environ 38(27):4421–4425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Langford AO, Alvarez RJ II, Brioude J, Evan S, Iraci LT, Kirgis G, Senff CJ (2018) Coordinated profiling of stratospheric intrusions and transported pollution by the Tropospheric Ozone Lidar Network (TOLNet) and NASA Alpha Jet experiment (AJAX): observations and comparison to HYSPLIT, RAQMS, and FLEXPART. Atmos Environ 174:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Liu DY, Rutherford D, Kinsey M, Prather KA (1997) Real-time monitoring of pyrotechnically derived aerosol particles in the troposphere. Anal Chem 69(10):1808–1814CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Nishanth T, Praseed KM, Rathnakaran K, Kumar MKS, Krishna RR, Valsaraj KT (2012) Atmospheric pollution in a semi-urban, coastal region in India following festival seasons. Atmos Environ 47:295–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Perrino C, Tiwari S, Catrambone M, Torre SD, Rantica E, Canepari S (2011) Chemical characterization of atmospheric PM in Delhi, India, during different periods of the year including Diwali festival. Atmos Pollut Res 2(4):418–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rao PS, Gajghate DG, Gavane AG, Suryawanshi P, Chauhan C, Mishra S, Gupta N, Rao CVC, Wate SR (2012) Air quality status during Diwali Festival of India: a case study. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 89:376–379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Saxena P, Bhardwaj R, Ghosh C (2012) Status of air pollutants after implementation of CNG in Delhi. Curr World Environ 7(1):109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Saxena P, Naik V (eds) (2018) Air Pollution: Sources, Impacts and Controls. CABIGoogle Scholar
  23. Saxena P, Srivastava A, Tyagi M, Kaur S (2019) Impact of tropospheric ozone on plant metabolism – a review. Pollut Res 38(1):175–180Google Scholar
  24. Singh DP, Gadi R, Mandal TK, Dixit CK, Singh KST, Singh N et al (2010) Study of temporal variation in ambient air quality during Diwali festival in India. Environ Monit Assess 169(1):1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sonwani S, Amreen H, Khillare PS (2016, July) Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in urban atmospheric particulate of NCR, Delhi, India. In 41st COSPAR Scientific Assembly (Vol. 41)Google Scholar
  26. Sonwani S, Kulshreshtha U (2016) Particulate matter levels and it’s associated health risks in East Delhi. Proceedings of Indian aerosol science and technology association conference on aerosol and climate change: insight and challenges. IASTA Bull 22(1–2). ISSN 09714510Google Scholar
  27. Sonwani S, Kulshrestha U (2018) Morphology, elemental composition and source identification of airborne particles in Delhi, India. J Indian Geophys Union 22(6):607–620Google Scholar
  28. Sonwani S, Kulshrestha, UC (2019) PM 10 carbonaceous aerosols and their real-time wet scavenging during monsoon and non-monsoon seasons at Delhi, India. J Atmos Chem 1–30Google Scholar
  29. Sonwani S, Saxena P (2016) Identifying the sources of primary air pollutants and their impact on environmental health: a review. Int J Eng Tech Res 6(2):111–130Google Scholar
  30. Srinivas R, Panicker AS, Parkhi NS, Peshin SK, Beig G (2015) Sensitivity of online coupled model to extreme pollution event over a mega city Delhi. Atmos Pollut Res. APR-D-14-00373Google Scholar
  31. Stein AF, Draxler RR, Rolph GD, Stunder BJ, Cohen MD, Ngan F (2015) NOAA’s HYSPLIT atmospheric transport and dispersion modeling system. Bull Am Met Soc 96(12):2059–2077CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Su L, Yuan Z, Fung JC, Lau AK (2015) A comparison of HYSPLIT backward trajectories generated from two GDAS datasets. Sci Total Environ 506:527–537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Swamy YV, Venkanna R, Nikhil GN, Chitanya DNSK, Sinha PR, Ramakrishna M et al (2012) Impact of oxides of nitrogen, volatile organic carbons and black carbon emissions on ozone weekend/weekday variations at a semi arid urban site in Hyderabad. Aerosol Air Qual Res 12:662–671CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Thakur B, Chakraborty S, Debsarkar A, Chakrabarty S, Srivastava RC (2010) Air pollution from fireworks during festival of lights (Deepawali) in Howrah, India—a case study. Atmósfera 23(4):347–365Google Scholar
  35. Vecchi R, Bernardoni V, Cricchio D, D’Alessandro A, Fermo P, Lucarelli F, Nava S, Piazzalunga A, Valli G (2008) The impact of fireworks on airborne particles. Atmos Environ 42:1121–1132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. White AB, Darby LS, Sneff CJ, King CW, Banta RM, Koermer J, Wilczak JM, Neiman PJ, Angevine WM, Talbot R (2007) Comparing the impact of meteorological variability on surface ozone during the NEAQS (2002) and ICARTT (2004) field campaigns. J Geophys Res 112:D10S14Google Scholar
  37. World Bank (2004) Most dangerous polluted cities: particulate matter air pollution 2004. Available at:

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pallavi Saxena
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anju Srivastava
    • 2
  • Shivangi Verma
    • 2
  • Shweta
    • 2
  • Lakhwinder Singh
    • 2
  • Saurabh Sonwani
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesHindu College, University of DelhiDelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryHindu College, University of DelhiDelhiIndia
  3. 3.School of Environmental SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations