Scientific evidence is being further strengthened on the fact that perchlorate chemicals used in the manufacturing of air fireworks is seriously contaminating soil, ground water and field crops.
Tests carried out on soil in 18 localities in Malta and Gozo showed that the amount of perchlorate in soil is high and is compared with levels found in countries, such as China. The only perchlorate source in Malta is the fireworks which are set off in feasts and other celebrations.
Researcher Colette Pace stated that a study is ongoing on the effects of perchlrate on health. “There may be an incidence between the high level of perchlorate and that of thyroid cancer found in Malta”.
Perchlorate was also found in vegetables.
‘”Those who eat their leaves, such as rucola and lettuce, the perchlorate level will be very high. Even if we wash them, the level will be high because perchlorate will be inside the leaves and not on the leaves”, Ms Pace added.
Traces of perchlorate were also found in drinking water, although Dr Pace stated that this is not alarming in such a case.
Perchlorate dissolves very well in water, that is if it rains, the first thing is that it will dissolve and finds itself in ground water, which is drinking water or it flows at sea.
In her research, Dr Pace also analyzed air dust. ” “The highest were at Żurrieq and Qrendi in the southern area. We also found high amounts at Qormi, however Żurrieq experienced high levels of dust during the whole months when we analyzed air dust”.
How can perchlorate level diminish? “Obviously, each fireworks factory may set off less fireworks each year and we will have less damage”, Dr Pace stated.
The use of perchlorate in the manufacture of fireworks has increased in recent years due to the measures to reduce tragedies at fireworks factories because this chemical is less dangerous than chlorate.