Hi my name is Amaryllis, and I am from the USA. Every year, in my country, the 4th of July (out independence day) is celebrated with fireworks. The American Pyrotechnics Association, estimates that 18,000 fireworks shows will occur across the U.S. this Fourth of July. This does not include backyard fireworks which have seen a tremendous growth in sales. Since 2000, the sales of backyard fireworks have doubled resulting in over 238 million pounds of fireworks being fired off each year. Fireworks are a major danger to our environment as a whole, and the health of the people living in that environment.
It is estimated that the annual U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fireworks is 60,340 tons or the same emissions from 12,000 cars on the road for a year. Another threat posed by fireworks is the eventual bioaccumulation of chemicals in the land and water. Some specific chemicals which may bio-accumulate are copper compounds, which make the blues in fireworks, (they also pose a possible cancer risk.) and lead dioxide / nitrate, (these pose a serious health risk too, developmental danger for kids & unborn babes), which may remain airborne for days, poisonous to plants & animals.
Fireworks also pose serious health risks to humans, and other animals. Fireworks contain many dangerous compounds, which can adversely impact people, and their health example:
1. Arsenic compounds, which are used as colorants, form toxic ash can cause lung cancer, skin irritation and wart formation
2. Barium Nitrate which are used to produce glittering greens, are poisonous, (the fumes can irritate respiratory tract) and there is a chance of possible radioactive fallout.
On a different note, fireworks also contribute to the ever growing threat of acid rain. Sulfur Dioxide, a gaseous byproduct of sulfur combustion, affects water sources, by increasing their acidity. This acid water then turns in to rain, and when it comes down, it causes harm to vegetation and property damage too.
Fireworks are a major threat, to people and the environment, so next time you go to a firework show, ask yourself, “do I really want to participate in the impending distruction of the enviroment?”