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PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Kalinga health officer supports total firecracker ban

by Larry Lopez

TABUK, Kalinga, Jan. 3(PIA)-- Citing its debilitating effects on health, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Romulo Gaerlan, stands by the move of the Department of Health (DOH) on total firecracker ban for new year revelry.

While the campaign on “Iwas paputok” works effectively as shown by decreasing statistics on victims of firecracker blasts, smoke emissions from firecrackers bring immediate and long term health effects that could develop into fatal ailments, Gaerlan claimed.

Gaerlan explained that tiny particles in the smoke contain toxic substances that could trigger immediate respiratory problems like asthma and pneumonia that could be fatal to people who already have it.

Exposure to excessive amount of the smoke, when deposited in the lungs has long term health hazard that could cause serious lung diseases, according to Gaerlan.

During the revelry, most often than not, people could not prevent from powder skin contact and when not immediately washed could cause skin allergies and similar problems, he said.

Another point Gaerlan raised is the side of the DOH in providing anti-tetanus-serum (ATS) to all provincial and district hospitals before New Year’s Day, as part of its alert preparation, anticipating the cases of firecracker blast victims.

“You could just imagine how much would the government save for the cost of the ATS, if there would be total ban on firecrackers”, Gaerlan said.

He also cited the unnecessary additional staff requirement for the alert status of hospitals, who he said should instead stay with their families and relatives for the welcome the new year.

Giving his personal view on the total ban, Gaerlan said “if the purpose of using powder-base firecrackers is to produce bomb-like sounds, then I recommend the canned revelry now being promoted by the DOH”.

DOH distributes “canned revelry” that plays recorded firecracker blast sounds in place of live but risky firecracker celebrations.

These could be some of the alternative ways for us to have a peaceful and safe celebrations of the season, Gaerlan stressed. (JDP/LL-PIA CAR,Kalinga)

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