Are We Being Poisoned by Holidays?
The new greener fireworks may cost significantly more, but the cost to your health may actually cost 50 times more... so save money and go green on your next holiday. One of the most amazing things that we look forward to with holidays are fireworks. Fourth of July, birthdays, Chinese New Year are all made more popular with fireworks. But recently the EPA has finally admitted that it’s concerned about the toxic chemical that is the power behind the display. Perchlorate is a chemical that can hinder growth hormone, reduce thyroid function and seriously affect pregnant women and children. And no standard yet exists for perchlorate contamination in drinking water.
After the fireworks are over, there are small bits of percholorate that remain in nearby water reserves such as lakes, streams, reservoirs and even open water tanks. On land, the next rainstorm will cause the perchlorate residue to seep into groundwaters. Poor cleanup after such displays can leave entire firework canisters behind... as well as the high amounts of perchlorate they contain. Also the colder the water, the longer it takes for perchlorate to dissipate, often still being detectable 80 days later. Just imagine Disney World’s nightly displays and how it has affected the residents of nearby communities for years, including wildlife and the environment. Now Disney has switched to something new.
Low-smoke fireworks like those used by Cirque du Soleil and World Wrestling Entertainment use nitrate-based oxidants instead of perchlorate, so they are cleaner burning and leave no residue behind. They were originally created for the military to reduce pollution and contaminants from flares and munitions. But now they have moved into the general population to provide us the show we want without the mess afterwards.
In fact the remains after these displays include nitrogen which is a great plant fertilizer and plant fibers instead of the chlorine, perchlorate and mercury that are all still common in the cheaper fireworks that come from China. In addition up to 400 people per year die in China in the manufacture of fireworks, and many are actually made in individual homes to save money, then exported, so the quality varies dramatically.
The new greener fireworks may cost significantly more, but the cost to your health may actually cost 50 times more... so save money and go green on your next holiday.