Target: B. Todd Jones, Director of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Goal: Ban environmentally-toxic fireworks in the United States
For many people, fireworks symbolize freedom. What is less commonly recognized is that they also symbolize a worsening condition of our environment. Not only do mass-manufactured fireworks create obvious air pollution, but they are manufactured and transported in unsustainable ways and create fallout that can contaminate water supplies. Stop polluting the environment as a way to celebrate special occasions. Ban environmentally toxic fireworks and declare your independence from senselessly harmful traditions.
Studies have shown that a one-hour fireworks display raises the air’s level of strontium by 120 times, magnesium by 22 times, barium by 12 times, potassium by 11 times, and copper by 6 times. The chemicals in most mass-manufactured fireworks also emit harmful particles of nitric oxide, sulfur dioxide, and aerosol emissions, creating bursts of ozone to cause lung damage. Not only do traditional fireworks pollute the air, but they also pollute nearby water sources. When shot off near water sources, the fallout from fireworks creates residue on the ground that gets carried away by the rain. This runoff water ends up in our lakes, rivers and oceans, contaminating drinking water supplies along the way.
Before fireworks are even set off, they create a strain on the environment. Many ingredients in fireworks come from elements that must be mined from the earth, furthering the nation’s dependence upon destructive mining practices. Once mined, the fireworks are combined with chemicals and wastefully use plastic and paper packaging that usually isn’t recycled. Due to state and local restrictions, fireworks are often transported long distances on gas-guzzling trucks and planes to cross state lines for consumer convenience. Sign the below petition to urge city, state, and federal governments to stop using environmentally-toxic fireworks in holiday celebrations.[gravityform id=1 name=Signthe Petition: ajax=false]
Dear Director Jones,
Holiday celebrations around the country have been unnecessarily polluting the air, water, and soil in the name of independence for many years. However, the impact of fireworks is taking its toll on the environment and alternative means of celebration must be implemented. Fireworks emit chemicals into the air including nitric oxide, sulfur dioxide, strontium, and magnesium. The cost of transporting fireworks across state lines has gone through the roof, and runoff of firework debris is finding its way into public drinking water supplies.
I am urging you to work with city, state, and federal organizations ban the use of environmentally-toxic fireworks and develop other ways to celebrate in our communities. Some communities have already begun using environmentally-friendly laser light shows to wow the crowds during holiday celebrations. Plenty of electronic fireworks display lamps and electronic pyrotechnics already exist as responsible alternatives. By banning toxic fireworks, you’ll not only be preserving the environment, but also securing the safety of people watching display shows and saving communities a great deal of money.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Vito Palmisano via WikiMedia