GREEN

Fireworks Safety. Avoid Fireworks Accidents With Fireworks Alternatives

07/11/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Although it may seem hard to imagine a Fourth of July celebration without fireworks, it's also true that the gunpowder-propelled attractions cause pollution.

The smoke and ash that rain down from fireworks contain toxic chemicals, including heavy metals such as barium, cadmium, lithium and lead; potassium nitrate; sulfur-coal compounds and sometimes even arsenic. Scientists have also warned that fireworks can contribute to acid rain.

In an effort to green up pyrotechnics, Disney has pioneered new technology that uses environmentally benign compressed air instead of gunpowder as the propellant. Encourage your town to look into the technology for its displays.

Better yet, avoid the toxic burden of fireworks altogether, and help keep your family safe from potentially dangerous flames and explosives. One fun alternative is to give your kids confetti to throw instead. Use recycled paper, and give them the chance to make a mess. Read on for other ideas.

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