Potassium Chlorate used in making of firecrackers

keralaIt has come to light that a banned chemical potassium chlorate was used in the making of firecrackers that caused mishap killing 112 people. Potassium chlorate is used illegally in making firecrackers as it makes them more noisy, besides making them more colourful and more likely to fly higher. More importantly, it costs one-third as much as the mixture of potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate that most Indian firecracker-makers use as a substitute. Only two months ago, investigators in Bengaluru revealed that potassium chlorate was one of the chemicals that Simi operative Mohammed Rafiq used in making a crude bomb that killed a woman outside a restaurant in that city, according to a report in a daily. One of the reasons for mishaps during fireworks displays in Kerala has always been the use of potassium chlorate, an official of Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) said. A team PESO experts, led by Chief Controller of Explosives Sudharshan Kamal, reached the mishap site on Monday to conduct its own investigation. But scientists describe chlorates as unstable and friction-sensitive and hence, highly dangerous. The chemical is also toxic and can harm the skin. This was the reason it was banned by the government through a notification on 27 January, 1992

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