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Hidden Danger in Fireworks

Every year at this time, people warn us about fireworks?they're dangerous, they can start fires, etc. But what OUR readers want to know is, are they also bad for our health?

Colorful explosives may use potassium perchlorate, a chemical, also used in dry cleaning, that has been connected to deterioration of the thyroid gland. But the burning of the fireworks consumes most of this.

But not all: reports that "a 2007 US Environmental Protection Agency study?measured perchlorate levels in a small lake in Oklahoma where an annual Fourth of July fireworks show is held. Within 14 hours of the display, perchlorate levels in the water were 1,000 times higher than they were naturally." But researchers are working hard to find other chemicals to activate all that wonderful fire and smoke.

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