Last year I saw for the first time those lanterns you light underneath that goes soaring off to the sky, and in my case over the oceans. I was greatly disturbed by the amount of trash and litter that again was going to be released into our oceans. This begs the question, are fireworks eco friendly? How much litter do fireworks generate?
Aside from the partying, BBQ’s, much of the residue from fireworks is paper, but many parts of the firecrackers, sparklers are not biodegradable and will get washed out to sea, get into our groundwater. Lets be honest, most people do not pick up their firework trash.
I just gotta Eco Ya
- 213.2 pounds of Fireworks sold in 2013
- $940 Million Industry
- 20,000 Fires per year due to fireworks.
- 400 Americans lose sight every year by fireworks.
- A study in New Hampshire about fireworks over lakes concluded that fireworks are something that residents should decide if they want to enjoy and should consider the trade-offs. The report concluded: “They (fireworks) impact water quality by affecting the odor and taste of drinking water. On the economic side, excessive algal and cyanobacteria growth due to phosphorus or contamination due to firework fallout increases water treatment costs, degrades fishing and boating activities, and impacts tourism and property values. The cost of damage done to property, the litter and the effect upon both wildlife and human life is incalculable. (Source)
- 190 pounds and thousands of bits of plastic trash recently thanks to more than 120 volunteers who showed up en mass to make a difference for the ocean from the non-profits booths who sold fireworks. The Rockaway Beaches and business area has rarely looked cleaner and Linda Mar beach was in tip top shape following their efforts. (2013)
Some Fireworks are made up of charcoal, sulfur fuel and potassium nitrate, better known as gunpowder. Since that mixture can be a little unstable, potassium nitrate can be substituted with perchlorates, namely potassium perchlorate and ammonium perchlorate.
Percholorate in high doses can effect the human thyroid gland, resulting in hypothyroidism. Perchlorates have also been known to chas thyroid dance in rats and mice. Studies on volunteers have shown that while not harmful in small doses, other studies have shown after fireworks displays percolate levels have peaked and there has been evidence of percholorates in groundwater.
To make the vibrant colors, fireworks have heavy metals and toxins that are very bad for humans and all life forms.:
- Strontium (red): This material can be radioactive and can damage bone marrow, clause anemia and lead to birth defects in animals.
- Copper (blue): Dioxins from coppers has been identified as a carcinogen by The World Health Organization.
- Barium (green): Can cause gastrointestinal problems and muscular weakness when exposure exceeds EPA drinking water standards.
- Cadmium (various): Known carcinogen, damaging lungs and kidneys.
- Other elements: aluminum, sulfur dioxide, lithium, lead nitrate,
Ugh, fireworks are definitely not eco friendly, too many toxins, too much waste and too much trash. I know I will be out on the beach picking up bags of trash on July 5th. I hope you all do the same, pick up your neighborhoods.