To the editor:

Please be thoughtful of your neighbors, the environment and wildlife this Fourth of July by avoiding the use of fireworks.

Fireworks are harmful to people, the environment and to wildlife in several ways. Fireworks can contain toxic and carcinogenic (cancer causing) heavy metals such as strontium, barium, copper, lead and aluminum to produce those pretty colors and contain other toxic and carcinogenic compounds such as chlorates and perchlorates to make them explode. These compounds can pollute the air and then rain down to contaminate soil and water. The air pollution can make breathing more difficult for people with asthma or other respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The debris from fireworks that land in waterbodies and on land can be lethal to wildlife through ingestion or entanglement; lake shores are often littered with firework debris the morning after a display. The noise from fireworks can be especially distressing to people, household pets and wildlife. The noise can produce anxiety in people with PTSD and in wildlife, which are far more sensitive to high frequency noise than humans, causing bird and mammal parents to abandon their nests and dens leaving their defenseless babies behind. An hour of entertainment can result in devastating consequences for humans, household pets and wildlife; is it really worth it? Some alternatives to fireworks are glow sticks, sparklers or laser shows to replace big displays. Please think about your human and animal neighbors.

Cheryl Joyce

Saranac Lake

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