July 4th Festivities Getting Cleaner?

Flags. Food. Family. Festivities. Fireworks. In no particular order, July 4th ignites a series of private and public celebrations throughout the United States as we recognize the day of independence. And while the spectacular finale of a firework display is a cherished tradition, the materials and smoke can be harmful to the environment and potentially pose health risks to event viewers. Check out Discovery News’ list of health issues that the hazardous metals used to create the awed colors can cause over an extended time.

Prompted by Disneyland, that had received a number of complaints from neighbors regarding the smoke and subsequent irritation to their lungs, the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico embarked on pyrotechnic research to find a more eco- and health-friendly solution. The good news is that there is a new generation of fireworks that emit less smoke and fewer toxic materials that end up in soil and groundwater. (And, yes, if you are concerned Walt and Mickey have agreed upon and adopted new firework practices.) The bad news is, we can’t get too excited, yet. Towns are not likely going to adopt these green-friendly solution for this year’s display as the products are generally not available to the public for a few years and will be more expensive, and hence restrictive, for most municipalities.

In the meantime, we can and should recognize this as a better option and check with respective town and neighborhood officials as a future solution for the betterment of the community.

If you are in the Ocean State for this year’s holiday, check out a list of RI’s celebrations.

Have a safe, healthy and happy holiday!

Posted by: Katie

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