ASH Wales has called on all councils to make parks and playgrounds smoke-free environments.One wonders, then, if Tanya and her friends will be happy taking their kids to a fireworks display this weekend.
[Launching the ASH Wales campaign, Tanya Buchanan, the charity’s chief executive, said:] “Making parks smoke-free will protect our children from developing health problems from breathing in second-hand smoke because, when you smoke, so does everyone else.”
Fireworks produce smoke and dust that may contain residues of heavy metals, sulfur-coal compounds and some low concentration toxic chemicals. These by-products of fireworks combustion will vary depending on the mix of ingredients of a particular firework. (The color green, for instance, may be produced by adding the various compounds and salts of Barium, some of which are toxic, and some of which are not.)So, for the lily-livered and ever fearful amongst us, here are some safety tips.
Pollutants from fireworks raise concerns because of potential health risks associated with hazardous by-products. For most people the effects of exposure to low levels of toxins from many sources over long periods are unknown. For persons with asthma or multiple chemical sensitivity the smoke from fireworks may aggravate existing health problems.
- Leave the sparklers at home, they're banned on health and safety grounds. Obviously, since they're only harmful to fuckwits.
- Wear sunglasses, do you really want to risk your sight because of one unexpectedly bright explosion?
- Don't eat the hot dogs or you'll suffer a processed meat induced heart attack by morning.
- Wear eight jumpers and avoid proximity to other people ... that there swine flu is a right bitch.
- Bring your gas mask to protect against the unholy collection of smoke and fireworks fumes, and don the full body bio-hazard suit if you see someone light a fag.
- Leave the kids at home, such risk-filled fun is far too dangerous for their little bodies to cope with.
- In fact, just stay at home yourself too. There's walking on the wild side by having a glass of sherry at Christmas, but this is just too much like hell.
Stay safe this bonfire night, righteous types. Bolt your doors, put rolled up towels against every door crack, surreptitiously spy on your joy-filled neighbours as they return, and then write letters calling for a ban on fireworks for the sake of the chiiildren. You know it makes sense.
For those of us who are not cowed by health alarmism, however, have a great Guy Fawkes weekend.
(This article was scheduled as I'm elsewhere. Try not to nick the family silver and trash the place while I'm gone, eh? Ta)