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Private use of fireworks has no place in lakes area

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In a recent column the writer recalled with fond memories his experiences with fireworks. I would like to present a different, and more realistic, view.

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According to the latest government data from 2012, there were 8,700 people injured seriously enough by fireworks to require a trip to the hospital. The vast majority were reported in the two weeks before and after Independence Day.

Of these injuries, 80 percent were to the hands and face; many leaving permanent scars or blindness. In addition, one-quarter of the injured were children under 14.

Fireworks accidents accounted for more than 17,000 fires and caused $32 million in property damage. This does not include the $5-$10 million in medical costs related to injuries.

Another more hidden danger of fireworks in pollution. Spent fireworks contain potassium sulfate, dioxins and perchlorate, all known cancer-causing agents. Heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, zinc and chromium are present.

Such toxic metals have been found in soil samples up to 500 times normal levels in area used to shoot off fireworks. Perchlorate has been found in lakes where empty canisters were found up to 1,000 times the norm.

Private use of fireworks has no place in the lakes area. It is dangerous, it is toxic, it is inconsiderate to your neighbors, and it is illegal with good reason.

Instead, next year plan to attend the many public displays put on by towns and resorts in our area. Have a safe and responsible holiday.

Dennis Tack,

Lake Hubert

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