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DOH reports 20 firecracker injuries ahead of New Year celebration

by Leila Salaverria

THE Department of Health on Monday reiterated its warning against the use of firecrackers as it reported 15 new firecracker injuries since Christmas, bringing the total this month to 20.

The injuries were reported in the DOH sentinel hospitals.

Of the 20 injuries, six cases, or 30 percent, were attributed to boga, a cannon made out of PVC material. It is an illegal firework.

The whistlebomb and rocket fireworks or kwitis caused three injuries each, while the five-star firecracker caused two injuries. Another two injuries were attributed to unknown firecrackers.

The judas belt, missile, pop-pop, and an unlabeled firecracker caused one injury each. 

Burns, amputation 

Of the injured, 95 percent were male and their ages range from 1 to 64 years old. 70 percent of the injuries occurred at home. Two of cases had blast burn injuries that required amputation. 

The DOH said 11 of the cases had eye injuries, while six had hand injuries. Another two were injured on their forearms, while one was injured on the back.

No deaths were reported.

Where the injuries happened

Central Visayas and the Soccksargen region reported three injuries each. The Ilocos, Bicol, Western Visayas, Davao, and Metro Manila regions had two injuries each.

Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, and Cordillera Administrative Region reported one injury each.

Public displays

It has been the tradition of Filipinos to welcome the New Year with firecrackers and pyrotechnic displays, as many share the belief that loud noises will ward off bad spirits.

Earlier, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. called on local government units to set up a common area for fireworks displays instead of allowing individuals to use these devices on their own.

Marcos also urged the public to avoid firecrackers because of the dangers they present. 

In 2017, then President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order 28 regulating the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices in the country.

The order confined their use to community fireworks displays in order to minimize the risk of injuries and casualties. 

More reasons to avoid firecrackers 

Aside from causing burns and other injuries, firecrackers also contain chemicals that could also affect the health of Filipinos, as the group EcoWaste Coalition earlier warned

The DOH had also said that fireworks displays increase the levels of suspended particulate matters of carbon monoxide, nitric oxide hydrocarbons, and sulfur dioxide. 



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