A new poll from Prósent shows some interesting demographic differences when it comes to the public use of fireworks.
The poll was conducted online, reaching some 2,300 people aged 18 and older, from December 30th through January 9th, with 49% responding. Only 36% of these respondents said they even buy fireworks.
52% said they supported limiting the number of fireworks an individual can buy, with 34% against and 14% having no position.
When it comes to an out-right ban on the sale of fireworks, there was a nearly even split, with 44% in favour, 41% against, and 15% having no position. Demographically, there were some stark differences.
60% of Icelanders aged 18 to 24 favour a ban, comprising the age group with the greatest support for the idea. This was followed by those aged 25 to 34, of whom 44% were in favour of a ban. The most against the idea were those aged 55 to 64, with only 38% in favour. Interestingly, 43% of those aged 65 and older supported a fireworks ban, comprising an even larger percentage in favour than those aged 35 to 64.
That fireworks contain such toxins as lead, chrome, HCB and other chemicals has been known for a long time now. This, along with the great quantities of fireworks Icelanders are fond of exploding on New Years Eve, has prompted annual advisories around this holiday that the elderly, small children, and those with respiratory infections stay indoors and close their windows as the fireworks are being set off. In addition to this, and the trauma the explosions can cause dogs and cats, the Health Inspectorate went so far as to call for fireworks to be banned altogether in 2020.
The strongest argument in favour of the sale of fireworks has been that the proceeds help support rescue squads, who comprise a large portion of fireworks sellers. For those who want to support the rescue squad without buying fireworks, it is possible to donate directly.
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