Limit fireworks to 4th of July!

Limit fireworks to 4th of July!

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Kelley Kaplan started this petition to Representative Kathleen Rice and

Fireworks are festive. We can all agree. But there is a time and place for them. It seems the lack of enforcement of NYS firework laws has now led to fireworks all summer, at all times of day, and used by inexperienced people. This petition is to enforce firework laws to only be used on the 4th of July from 8-11pm 

The list of reasons for this ban is vast, as is the effects of fireworks on children, veterans, animals and property

Illegal use of fireworks can be dangerous to you and to others, is a public nuisance and is inconsiderate of those around you. 

Fireworks can burn down houses, damage nearby private property, dangerous for infants  and adults, cause bushfires, and terrify pets and wildlife.

1. Babies and Children 

Fireworks produce a sound output that is in the 150 to 175 decibel range. Each year, many people experience some damage to their hearing as a result of fireworks. The World Health Organization recommends that adults not be exposed to more than 140 decibels of peak sound pressure. For children, the recommendation is 120 decibels. If you are dealing with a firework that explodes at 170 decibels, you would have to stand 15 to 20 meters away before you are at a safe limit. Children would have to stand 50 to 60 meters away from that same firework. Infants should not be exposed to fireworks, because they generally experience the greatest amount of sound pressure.

Exposure to loud sounds can result in the following: 

Tinnitus – ringing in the ears, which can be a symptom of hearing loss.

Temporary threshold shift – slight decrease in hearing, which usually only lasts 24 hours.

Permanent hearing loss – a change in hearing that is permanent and cannot be restored.

2.  Veterans

According to Penn state medicine, those living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the evening spectacles could trigger serious mental health consequences. In a recent interview, Leah Blain, PhD, a clinical psychologist and director for the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Penn in the department of Psychiatry, shared how this trend in pyrotechnics has endangered the wellbeing of those living with mental health conditions.

In terms of fireworks, individuals with PTSD, as well as any combat veteran regardless of their PTSD status, are more likely to be triggered or respond to this kind of stimuli. So we have a loud, unexpected noise, often under the cover of darkness. If we think about what a combat scenario looks like, you're expecting incoming fire and explosions that you have to be on guard for, that are often happening at night. And fireworks serve as a very significant reminder of these experiences, PTSD or no. So this really does impact people. It really disrupts sleep. It increases stress. I would say it is a pretty significant stressor for people.

3.  Adults   

People who use fireworks carelessly, or without knowing what they're doing can be killed or maimed. They can also kill or maim others. 

According to the Washington post, in 2018, at least five people died from a fireworks-related injury, and about 9,100 people were treated in hospital emergency departments — nearly two-thirds of them during the month around the Fourth of July.

Additionally, people who suffer from asthma can experience discomfort and epileptics can experience seizures following fireworks displays.

4 Animals explains the hearing of many animals is much more sensitive than it is in humans, so the explosions of fireworks are not only more disturbing to them, but they can damage their hearing more severely. Fireworks can emit sounds of up to 190 decibels (110 to 115 decibels above the range of 75 to 80 decibels where the damage to the human ear begins). Fireworks generate a higher noise level than firecrackers, gunshots (140 decibels), and some jet planes (100 decibels).

Noises caused by fireworks and firecrackers can lead to loss of hearing and tinnitus. Dogs are known to suffer irreversible hearing loss caused by proximity to the noise of gunfire.

Fear and stress
In addition to these harms, the noises caused by fireworks harm animals by causing fear. In fact, repeated exposure to unexpected, unpredictable loud noises can cause phobias in many animals, increasing panic reactions to loud noises in the future.

It is estimated that one-fifth of disappearances of animals who are companions to humans are due to very loud sounds, mainly fireworks and storms.

The effects of fireworks on animals can be observed very clearly in zoos. It has been shown that the noise of fireworks makes animals such as rhinos and cheetahs very nervous, also visibly affecting others such as elephants, while rodents continue running minutes after the noises cease.

When frightened by fireworks, horses and dogs have been known to injure themselves and others by running away, potentially causing accidents and damage to property.

Personally, I have a 7 year old dog with a health condition where stress greatly contributes to his failing eyesight. 

Please consider joining the crusade for safe and responsible firework use. 


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