Public encouraged to observe smoke-free New Year

The Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (EMB-DENR) enjoins the public anew to observe the New Year revelry health-risk- free and eco-friendly.

DENR Assistant Secretary Juan Miguel T. Cuna said, “Let’s do away with lighting those firecrackers and dangerous “paputok” this New Year’s celebration. These pyro techniques generate harmful fumes or smoke that’s not only hazardous to our health but to the environment as well.”

Noisemaking through fireworks on New Year’s Eve, believed to have originated in ancient times were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck.

Cuna, also concurrent EMB Director added, “It has been our tradition to usher the New Year with a “loud bang” but there are alternative noisemakers such as holding of street parties or festivities in the streets. This way may even foster camaraderie among neighbors. Playing loud music, blowing of horns, and clanging pots are less-costly as compared to buying expensive and dangerous firecrackers.”

Smoke from fireworks consists mainly of fine toxic dusts (particulate matter) such as ozone, sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide that can easily enter the lungs which becomes a real threat for people with asthma.

In time where the issues of climate change and global warming are being presented with a sense of urgency, we need to be concerned about the greenhouse gases fireworks produce, which include carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone.

“We support the other government agencies in welcoming a harm-free and a less-polluted air campaign this 2016 and we encourage everyone to use alternative and safe methods in our noise and merry-making,” Cuna said. (PNA)