Stop the Fireworks


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Fireworks are out of control in America and no one seems to care. I am sure my calls to stop the fireworks will be ignored.

My focus may be on the millions of pets who suffer panic attacks with blasts from fireworks, but humans also suffer.

In so many ways we treat veterans so poorly, offering little support for them once putting their lives on the line for us. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, a record number of veterans return from their service with post-traumatic stress disorder syndrome (PTSD). The fireworks triggers their brains, also according to the VA, reminding them of sounds of war. Fireworks may cause a panic attack.

People on the spectrum tend to be sound sensitive, it’s no surprise that fireworks may also prompt discomfort, if not downright panic. To be clear according to experts some individuals on the spectrum enjoy the bright lights and bangs and booms. However, others not so much, particularly children, and some are downright terrified. Like pets, there’s no way to explain what all the noise is about to young children on spectrum.

No one knows if there is a long-term impact, but fireworks disorients birds, and causes at the very least terror among many animals.  In the U.S. alone, fireworks causes 18,500 fires annually, and has been responsible for wildfires as well.

According to the U.S. Product Safety Commission, in 2021 a reported 11,500 people suffered fireworks injuries serious enough to be reported. Of the injuries, 32 percent were burns. Deaths have also been recorded from firework usage – at least nine people died because of fireworks usage in 2021, and 26 in 2020. Not included in this data are children, who according to a Washington University pediatric physician, noted these firework shows can actually rupture a child’s eardrum and cause permanent damage

In addition, the burning and use of fireworks releases a large amount of air pollutants. On 4th of July, certain areas will have their pollution levels predictably spike dramatically, and remain elevated for days. This poses a serious health problem to people with pre-existing conditions.

Additionally, firework debris often ends up in the water, as well as the fine particulate matter produced by fireworks. Some communities have banned firework displays over the lakes used for drinking water and those who haven’t done so likely should.

So, what’s the case FOR fireworks? Tradition, or they’re pretty.

Arguably, even more pretty are light shows, such as those created by drones. They are also slightly less expensive.

Even where fireworks are illegal, they find their way into communities. I suggest pets do have rights. Some will argue this, but how can you argue that humans on the spectrums or our veterans or others with PTSD deserve no fireworks. What’s more, it turns out the fireworks season is extended annually. At one time, you’d hear fireworks from July 3 to 5 or so. But today, the fireworks begin around now in mid to late June and continue well after the Fourth.

Unfortunately, my railing against fireworks – even though I have data to support the arguments – will likely go nowhere.