There are many reasons to re-think buying or getting close to fireworks (even the ones made for kids, such as pop it’s and sparklers). They contain high levels of heavy metals, and other toxicants and carcinogens including Cadmium. See below for scientific sources of information.
It is actually metals (including heavy metals) that are the base components for making many of the bright colors you see in most fireworks including the aerial fireworks used in the big displays. I would also be concerned about the heavy metals that could be dispersed into yards, walkways, roads, etc.
Fireworks also scare, injure, and poison wildlife and frighten people with PTSD, young kids, and domestic animals. See images below for more.
Remember that there are plenty of other ways to celebrate holidays, be patriotic, and have fun! See below for more.
Scientific Sources About Heavy Metals in Fireworks:
1. Toxicity of particles emitted by fireworks. Christina Hickey1†, Christopher Gordon1†, Karen Galdanes1, Martin Blaustein1, Lori Horton1, Steven Chillrud2, James Ross2, Lital Yinon1, Lung Chi Chen1 and Terry Gordo
2. Common Fireworks Release Lead, Copper & Other Toxic Metals into the Air; Metals Used to Give Fireworks Color Damage Human Cells & Animal Lungs
3. Hazardous Metals in Ambient Air Due to New Year Fireworks During 2004–2011 Celebrations in Pearl City, Hawaii. Jocelyn A. Licudine, PhD, Henry Yee, BS, […], and A. Christian Whelen, PhD
Safer Ways to Enjoy Fireworks:
View them from indoors and/ or far away. If you can smell the fireworks, you are potentially breathing in any toxic chemicals contained in them.
Drone light shows are the way of the future!
Things like glow sticks/ wands and blacklights could make a fun alternative at home. Enjoy time with family and friends, talking and playing yard games such as cornhole. Make some fun yet healthy treats (see my post about the Memorial Day cake I made; same idea could be used for 4th of July and other holidays). Attend or be in a parade. Invent your own, safer traditions!
Here’s more great ways to avoid lead hazards and celebrate safely:
What to Do if You’ve Been Exposed to Fireworks Smoke:
Lead Safe Mama has a post about what to do if you’ve already been exposed to fireworks dust.
A great comment I saw in a group about how to balance anxiety with safety precautions: “The way I have decided to look at health decisions we’ve made (because the more into natural healing I get the more I’m learning that toxic substances are everywhere-lead was just the most recent thing I removed) is, I am careful everywhere I can be careful to minimize my children’s exposure. It dosen’t matter how perfect I get it-unless we go off grid with unlimited funds we are going to be exposed to stuff. The best way I’ve seen to help limit our exposure elsewhere is to educate people-share FB memes… I know it’s really hard when your family’s health has been put in jeopardy by these things and you still have to be around them. I’ve been told I’m overreacting about my child’s anaphylactic food allergies and other serious health conditions by family. Today, in my opinion, you do what you can do. My guess is it’s over for this week, I know our area next weekend is big too. If you feel the need to hose off the grass, scrub what you can, or wait for a solid rain storm so the dust is down everywhere. Until then you could treat your yard like you would a trip to any other environment you aren’t sure about. When the government sprayed our area for gypsy moths and we could smell it on the air, I kept my health concern child inside for 24 hours to give everything time to settle.”
And as always, check out the Natural Baby Mama Facebook group. Some of these links were found there.
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