July 4th fireworks mark America’s most cherished symbol of liberty. It’s typically a time to spend with loved ones, munch homemade barbecue, and of course, blow things up. To be more précised, Independence Day won’t be complete without the fireworks spending, and most of us know this holiday as the most expensive one. Aside from self-inflicted injuries from costly celebrations, July 4th spending is in billions.
Ironically, nearly all the economic benefits go to fireworks firms over 7,000 miles away. A whopping 99 percent of all fireworks that glitter the US skies during the festival are imported from China. Not minding where the sky-enriching combustibles are produced, July 4th fireworks spending amount to over $1 billion yearly, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. That’s roughly 268 million pounds of fireworks by weight or a pound of pyrotechnics for every American, including women and children.
Injuries over July 4th Fireworks
Most people would set off their own glittering displays as a makeup in the entire states as well as some urban areas where many types of fireworks are banned. That causes people, mostly men, to burn themselves at alarming rates, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The agency reported that 62 percent of the estimated annual fireworks-related injuries for 2018 occurred in a one-month period between June 22, 2018, and July 22, 2018. That’s down 8 percent from the previous year’s similar report.
Sadly, until now, only 10 percent of fireworks that make it to the US skies are set off professionally. In 2018, fireworks caused an estimation of 9,100 injuries treated in US hospital emergency departments. That’s roughly 2.8 per 100,000 individuals in the estimated rate of emergency department-treated injuries. Patients had injuries mostly on their hands, faces, heads from fireworks products, including sparklers, bottle rockets, roman candles, and other firecrackers, says CPSC.
Some states are working hard to record the minimum injuries and occasional casualties from exuberant July 4th fireworks. While Illinois, Vermont, and Ohio are saying yes to only sparklers, which is still injury prone, Massachusetts has since declared any form of fireworks illegal. However, many urban areas won’t let anyone lit fireworks except on approved days, including July 4th.
Safer Alternatives to Fireworks
Meanwhile, safer fireworks alternatives, such as drone swarms are beginning to reshape the use of firecrackers in other countries. Until we are able to convince ourselves that some flying gadgets can be patriotic enough to set themselves on fire, it will be difficult to cut down the July 4th spending and bizarre records for blisters and unwanted burns.
It’s not enough to celebrate the reduced overall injury rates. CPSC reported five non-occupational firework-related deaths in 2018 which calls for more efforts. Of the 5,600 estimated fireworks-related injuries sustained in 2018, only 36 percent were to females, 64 percent were to males, with children between ages 10 to 14 years having the highest estimated rate of fireworks-related injuries.