Fireworks have become an integral part of celebrations all over the world. But as awareness of climate and environmental issues grows, the impact of these pyrotechnic light shows is inching into a spotlight of its own. Made of harmful plastics and chemical compounds, fireworks don't only cause ground pollution, but can seriously affect the quality of the air we breathe.
Shooting off fireworks at home may expose you and your family to dangerous levels of lead, copper and other toxins. While many are careful to protect themselves from injury from explosions, inhaling firework smoke may cause longer-term damage, a risk that has been largely ignored. PM2.5 can penetrate the lung barrier and enter the blood system. Chronic exposure to particles contributes to the risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as of lung cancer.
There are alternatives. In South Korea, where fireworks usage is largely limited to official events, drone shows have gained traction in recent years, often producing brilliant and beautiful results.
The German city of Landshut, where fireworks have been banned at New Year's Eve for several years, has become renowned for its impressive laser light shows. And in the Irish capital Dublin, previous years have been welcomed in with a mixture of traditional pyrotechnics and laser shows.
The pandemic will offer a chance for firework-loving countries to embrace more environmentally friendly alternatives. (source: ecowatch)
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