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About Those July 4 Fireworks and Air Pollution

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece here in The New York Times or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: Cities across the United States are reevaluating their traditional July 4 fireworks displays due to concerns over air quality, wildfires, and supply chain issues
• Some cities (like Salt Lake City and Boulder) are opting for synchronized dancing drone displays as a safer alternative

🔭 The context: Fireworks have been a longstanding tradition for Independence Day celebrations in the United States since 1777
• However, with increasing concerns about air pollution, wildfires, and the availability of fireworks, cities are seeking alternative ways to celebrate

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: The elevated levels of air pollution during fireworks displays can have adverse effects on people's health, especially for children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing respiratory conditions
• Additionally, fireworks can disturb wildlife and cause injuries and accidents

⏭️ What’s next: As cities continue to grapple with the challenges associated with fireworks displays, alternatives like drone shows and laser displays may become more prevalent

💬 One quote: “Watch it from a distance, the closer you are, the more particulate matter exposure you’re going to have.” (Dr. Tee Lewis, epidemiologist at the Environmental Defense Fund)

📈 One Stat: According to a study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, fine particulate matter levels in the United States rise by 42% on average during July 4 and 5, with a potential increase of up to 370% due to fireworks

Click for more news covering the latest on Environmental Sustainability

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