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Celebrating shouldn't have to jangle the nerves

All fireworks involve noise, but not all fireworks have explosions. In recent years, the push for 'silent fireworks' has focused on the impact of fireworks on both people and animals.

The effects on people are shown in an exponential increase in the number of complaints to police during June and July. Explosions of 150 to 170 decibels can not only cause hearing damage, but can trigger anxiety and panic attacks, not to mention sleep deprivation.

The effect of loud explosions in fireworks can be devastating. Birds have a startle response that forces them up to the sky in numbers that can be seen on weather radar. According to Sam Sander, a clinical professor of zoo and wildlife medicine at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, in one documented example, birds flew so far out to sea that they couldn't get back to land.

In one case, fireworks in an Arkansas town killed 5,000 red-winged blackbirds, possibly because the sounds disoriented them and caused them to fly into houses a trees, according to The Hill.

Domestic animals show dramatic fear responses of shaking, running, cowering. That isn't limited to dogs and cats. Pet guinea pigs and rabbits also have fear responses.

Fireworks don't need explosions to be beautiful, experts say. In fact, the fireworks with the biggest booms aren't necessarily the most beautiful.

This story was posted on 2022-07-01 09:13:01
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