Health officials are trying a new approach in their efforts to discourage the public from using fireworks this holiday season: crowdsourcing.
National Epidemiology Center head Enrique Tayag urged tweeps to send in their tips with the hashtags #newYear, #DOH, #gangnam, and #IwasPaputok.
"Mag-post po kayo nang inyong mga tips for a safer #newYear OR show the nation ur version of #gangnam #IwasPaputok and let us #DOH it together," Tayag said on his Twitter account.
Early replies included a stricter implementation of the "no fireworks" policy on the streets.
Meanwhile, an ecological group warned revelers planning to celebrate Christmas and New Year with a bang of the consequences of fireworks on the environment and health.
The EcoWaste Coalition said recent tests have showed the presence of heavy metals in some firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.
“On top of the deafening noise and unsightly trash, the explosion of firecrackers and fireworks creates a toxic cocktail of chemicals that is indisputably bad for public health and the environment,” said group campaigner Aileen Lucero.
It said its tests of some fireworks bought from Divisoria yielded significant levels of heavy metals such as antimony, barium, chromium, copper and lead, and even mercury.
According to the group, these metals are often added to the black powder mixture of charcoal, sulfur, potassium or sodium nitrate to create the desired sparkles and colors.
The group also noted none of the samples provided details about their chemical ingredients, much less their heavy metal contents. — TJD, GMA News