Independence Day:Firework Packaging Contained Asbestos Materials

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The 4th of July is an iconic American holiday! Independence Day commemorates the ratification of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress on July 4th, 1776.

The 4th of July is an iconic American holiday! Independence Day commemorates the ratification of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress on July 4th, 1776. Although the holiday has been celebrated since 1776, it wasn’t declared a federal holiday until 1941. The 4th of July is marked by several patriotic displays and many people celebrate with barbecues, picnics, parades, fireworks, and all things red, white, and blue.

firework packaging contained asbestos materials

Some interesting facts you may not know about the 4th of July:

  • The U.S. didn’t declare independence on the 4th of July. The official vote took place two days before on July 2nd, but the papers weren’t officially signed until the 4th.
  • In 1781, Massachusetts became the first state to recognize the 4th of July as an official state holiday.
  • 2 former presidents, each of whom signed the Declaration of Independence, both died on July 4th, 1826 – John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
  • Former president, Calvin Coolidge is the only president to serve that was born on July 4th.
  • Americans spend more than $1 billion on fireworks every year!
  • Each year, about 150 million hot dogs are consumed on the 4th of July

Fireworks are a big part of this all-American celebration. In the 1930s, people began experimenting with human fireworks – quite literally strapping explosives to individuals and igniting them to explode into colors and sound as spectators enjoyed. To keep the human being part of the firework from catching ablaze, individuals were sewn into suits made out of asbestos fibers – designed to keep the person wearing it cool and flame-free. While asbestos suits kept the individuals from catching fire due to the heat-resistant properties they possessed, it also could have led to further health problems down the line. Individuals exposed to asbestos may not have symptoms of asbestos-related diseases for several decades.

firework packaging contained asbestos materials
Aside from human fireworks, some firework packaging contained asbestos materials to prevent harmful explosions during the processing of the final products. The inclusion of asbestos in the fireworks industry exposed countless Fireworks workers throughout the 1930s-1980s. While fireworks may seem like an uncommon item to contain asbestos, it’s a good reminder that asbestos was hiding in a multitude of products throughout most of the 20th century. If you believe that you or a loved one have been exposed to asbestos, contact Serling & Abramson, P.C. today or fill out our free case evaluation.