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Group wants firecrackers and fireworks banned

Waste and pollution watchdog EcoWaste Coalition has sought for a comprehensive ban on the production, importation, distribution, sale and use of firecrackers and fireworks to protect  public health, safety and the environment.

EcoWaste Coalition, which is dedicated to promoting environmental health, climate protection and chemical safety, said a total ban as called for by top health and environment officials and supported by some lawmakers is the only way to go.

“The massive detonation of both legal and illegal pyrotechnics goes against the basic state policies of safeguarding human health and the ecosystems as guaranteed by the Constitution and upheld in major environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act,” the group said.

The coalition enumerated several reasons why firecrackers and fireworks are unhealthy and unsafe.

Firecrackers and fireworks cause serious if not fatal injuries to users as well as non-users. It also contain dangerous chemicals and produce toxic dusts and fumes, including climate pollutants that can aggravate the poor air quality and cause throat and chest congestion and other health problems.

The group added that firecrackers and fireworks create thick smog resulting to poor visibility, causing public safety hazards

The group noted that from 2000 to 2011, the Department of Health has recorded 10,107 firecracker-related injuries. Aside from this, the latest figures showed that there were 739 injuries and 1 death during the last New Year’s Eve. “These gory data do not include the 17 onlookers who were injured by wayward fireworks last December 16 during the UP Lantern Parade,” it said.