With the fourth of July now behind us, and some are still setting off their left over fireworks. I hate to be the one to rain on your parade, but here goes.Those fireworks that we think are so harmless other than the physical damage they can do if not handled with care are anything but harmless, even though we do not set them off throughout the year usually, that is more than we should be doing it.
Kind of like choosing your battles, some can be left alone, but others cannot be, and this is one that cannot be left alone.The damage that we are doing to the air that we breathe, the waterways, as well as the wildlife, not to mention what it is doing to our health, that you may not hear about.
We all have at one time enjoyed the display in the variety of colors, as well as the bangs that they release, but that beauty only lasts a few minutes. What they release is toxic chemicals such as carbon dioxide, nitric contaminants, carbon monoxide, sulfur, gun powder, smoke, heavy metals and that is only to name a few of the toxins. There are so much more that are inhaled into our lungs and have lasting effects on our health and that infect us in more ways that we are not aware of.
If you enjoyed your favorite fireworks display over your local lakes and rivers, the debris and chemicals released from the explosion has now poisoned the water, then the fish. Next will be you when you fry them up. Something to think about the next time you go fishing.
We all immediately think of cigarettes when we hear of lung cancer, but according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, out of 21,000 deaths from lung cancer each year in the United States about 2,900 of those deaths were of non smokers. The latest released was in October 2019. Those numbers may seem to be very low compared to the overall number of deaths, but the numbers do not draw the entire picture.
Then we have the variety in all the many colors in our favorite fireworks. Each color has its own set of toxins and chemicals. Red fireworks can be made with strontium and blue with copper - all of which are very harmful to our health. According to Terry Gordon, PhD, a professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine at NYU, he and his team have analyzed 14 years worth of air quality samples at dozens of locations in the U.S. throughout each year and they have found that there were higher levels of toxic metals, lead, titanium, strontium, and copper around Independence Day, and New Year's Eve celebrations.
A new study published on July 1st in the Journal Particle and Fibre Toxicology is believed to be the first to examine the effects of fireworks exposure in human cells and living animals. And then there are the particles thrown from the metals from the fireworks in the atmosphere, according to an article in NewsHub written byShira Polan on July 2, 2020. The findings may shock you.
Another article that I read said it best when put it like this."By celebrating our freedom in a less toxic way, we can avoid sacrificing some of that freedom - namely, our health - to a contaminated environment".
We are all a part of the problem in some way. Not all things though are avoidable, and some just are as easy as 1 2 3.
Trading in the fireworks for a better quality of air and soil sounds about right to me. Not judging you for what you decide, after all I am way harder on myself, and my choices. We cannot help it when we are not informed of a problem, only when we are, and if we can change the choices that we made moving forward.We have many other alternatives to showing our patriotism that will not be so harmful.
One mind and one thought at a time can change the world. Now go do just that.You want peace, then having better air to breath, and a cleaner environment is definitely a place to start.
Did I just rain on your parade, maybe to some, but to others they just will not care.Change is on the way though.
Tonya R. McBryar