over three thousand injured in ten years – WWN

over three thousand injured in ten years – WWN

Of Health editorial team

It is estimated that on the last night of the year around five thousand animals, both domestic and wild, lose their lives due to causes attributable to firecrackers

A danger to the health of humans, animals and the environment: New Year’s Eve “bangs”, according to the Italian Society of Environmental Medicine (Yes but), they do a lot of damage. According to official data from the Department of Public Security, between 2012 and 2023, in Italy, there were 6 dead and 3,220 seriously injured (on average, over 250 injuries per year, including children) due to firecrackers and fireworks lit on the night between 31 December and 1 January. This New Year’s Eve is obviously excluded from the calculation.

Animals at risk

But it is not only humans who suffer the consequences of the explosions: it is estimated that on the last night of the year approximately five thousand animals, both domestic and wild, lose their lives due to direct and indirect causes attributable to firecrackers and explosive materials (READ the decalogue of Oipa, International Animal Protection Organization, to protect them on New Year’s Eve). Then there is the environmental issue, considering that the barrels generate a surge inair pollution: throughout the year, fireworks are responsible for approximately 6% of PM10 present in Italian cities – explain the Sima experts -, but on New Year’s Eve alone the fine particles record an abnormal increase, reaching 24-hour average values ​​almost triple the normal daily limitset at 50 micrograms per cubic meter, and a level equal to 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter in the first hour after midnight (with an increase of +1,900% compared to the maximum legal values).

Anti-barrel ordinances

«Barrels, firecrackers and explosives, in addition to fine dust, release a lot into the atmosphere dioxinsor potentially carcinogenic substances – he states the president Sima, Alessandro Miani —. Taking a single medium-sized city into consideration, fireworks exploded on New Year’s Eve alone can produce harmful emissions equal to those of annual operations of 120 waste incinerators. The substances released into the atmosphere can also fall to the ground in the form of acid rain, polluting land, crops, lakes, rivers and aquifers. For this reason, like Sima, We appeal to mayors across Italy to pass anti-barrel ordinances which, in addition to saving human lives and protecting animals, would avoid devastating effects on air quality with benefits for public health.” In several Italian cities — including Rome, Florence and Palermo — bangs have been banned this New Year’s Eve and in the following days.

Waste in the streets

Then there is the huge amount of waste, evident every first day of the year. Sima’s estimate is that approximately 60 thousand casings – equal to 3-6 tons – of barrels and exploded fires on New Year’s Eve they remain in the streets and squares of our cities. Furthermore, it is about waste that is difficult to separatebecause they are made up of 70% cardboard, plastic, wood or clay and the remaining 30% pyrotechnic powder (mostly potassium nitrate, sulfur and coal, with the addition of heavy metals, magnesium and copper).

They are all dangerous

«There are no safe fireworks, even those permitted by law are a risk: let’s remember that the stars reach a temperature of 300 degrees centigrade — recommends the pediatrician Italo Farnetani, full professor at the Ludes University-United Campus of Malta —. Barrels are dangerous for everyone, but especially for children, first of all because they can be hit more easily when for example firecrackers fall to the ground, even worse if they are defective and remain unexploded or partially burned. The first piece of advice I give is not to use fireworks, the second is not to do so especially in the presence of children.”

Protect children

If you find yourself with people who fire shots, «the first precaution is keep children safe – continues Farnetani -. Better not to shoot them in dark areas, but try to always stay in lit areas and look down, at the children’s level. It is advisable to have a bottle of water with you because, in the event of a burn, the first treatment is to throw water in the affected area, possibly removing burnt or overheated clothing and also rings and bracelets. Children of all ages, including girls, must be taught to do not pick up firecrackers or fireworks from the ground. Unfortunately, accidents often occur due to unexploded fires that can explode in people’s hands, particularly among teenagers.”

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December 30, 2023 (modified December 30, 2023 | 3:49 pm)

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