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The Lookout | September 20, 2017

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Fireworks not fun for environment

Fireworks not fun for environment
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By Haneen Hammad
Staff Writer

This past weekend the nation celebrated its independence. Families and friends gathered together to celebrate and light up the sky with fireworks.

While enjoying the show put on by the city of Lansing I pondered the question: “Just how bad are fireworks for the environment?” Of course I came to the conclusion that not only are they bad for the environment, but for humans as well.

Fireworks are a lot of fun, but with that fun there is an environmental price to pay.

Fireworks lead to substantial air pollution problems. They release a smoke with potassium as well as aluminum compounds, which are used to propel fireworks into the air.

And of course, what goes up must come down.

Fireworks that fall to the ground contain residues of unburnt propellants and colorants, and the particle pollution in the air eventually deposits on the ground or gets washed out by rain.

According to the American Chemical Society, some of the residue finds its way into lakes and rivers. This percolate has been linked to thyroid problems, causing limits to be set for drinking water in some U.S. states.

Now if we were to play it safe and eliminate the pollution caused by fireworks completely, we would not have fireworks at all. But that would be a lot less fun, not to mention a little extreme.

Instead, officials should work on finding a way to reduce the environmental impact of fireworks, so that individuals can watch them without feeling guilty.

 

Comments

  1. Sarah G.

    Thank you for writing this. Fireworks are also made by child slave labor and can be traumatic to veterans and others with ptsd (plus animals). I hope more people decide to cut back on fireworks.

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