Do We Really Need Fireworks–and the Accompanying Pollution?

I have actually wondered about this for some time. It seems like more fireworks than ever are being used for non-special events. The recent construction of a minor league ballpark in my hometown came with loud, smoky fireworks after every game. The same thing goes on in San Diego (seen above) at Petco Park, except the smoke wafts out across the bay or residences near downtown.

Some argue that overuse of fireworks not only makes holidays like Independence Day less special, but it also creates a lot of unnecessary pollution. Because fireworks are special to a lot of people, this is also a tough issue to bring up.  People interpret opposition to excessive fireworks as another way to take the fun out of a world already saturated with bad news.

Perhaps it would help to look at the cost.

If you think that burning a wad of $100 bills for momentary enjoyment is an act that’s reserved only for the loonies, well then, most of us are kind of crazy too, at least the ones among us who enjoy a fireworks display. Yes, I will admit that I am among those who tend to ooh and aah at the magnificent colors and amazing patterns that streak across the night sky and hold us enthralled. But then comes the sobering thought: How much are we contributing to the pollution of the earth’s atmosphere and the air we breathe by encouraging and participating in such displays?

The answer is not pleasant at all, because fireworks are among the largest polluters in terms of volume used. For example, even a single firecracker is capable of causing high level of air pollution. In fact, fireworks are an absolute menace to human health and one of the biggest enemies to a green and clean earth because: the manufacturing process is polluting, most fireworks are manufactured in developing countries like India and China (for reasons of cost) where labor is cheap and anti-pollution laws are not stringent enough, they contain harmful chemicals, some of them are radioactive, the chemicals have been proven to cause acid rain, they contribute to noise pollution, the debris litters the earth and surrounding resources, the smoke pollutes the air, and they are dangerous.

[Conservation Report]

One thought on “Do We Really Need Fireworks–and the Accompanying Pollution?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.