As clocks across the country struck midnight, heralding in the New Year, fireworks across London shot into the sky. From massive displays to home celebrations alike, the sky across London, both in the inner city and suburbs, was lit up by an amazing array of brilliantly coloured explosive illuminations.

But is it really wise to celebrate the New Year in such a fashion? With carbon dioxide emissions already increasing globally, should we really be making merriment in such an environmentally harmful way?

Firework smoke consists of metal particles which can remain in the air for hours or days after the event… or may even never fully disintegrate. These particles release harmful toxins and chemicals, which often find their way into not only the soil but our water systems too.

Fireworks also release greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and ozone into the atmosphere, as well as releasing other harmful substances such as sulfur dioxide and nitric acid, which contributes to ground level ozone and produces acid rain.

Not only do fireworks have extremely negative environmental consequences but they can also have adverse effects on people, especially those suffering from heart, respiratory or nervous system disorders. Asthma sufferers in particular are at a higher risk from firework pollutants, with two thirds of asthma patients saying that air quality worsens their symptoms. Katie Evans, a local teenage asthma sufferer, says “smoke from fireworks makes me wheeze really, really badly so I don’t enjoy them at all.”

Honestly, I personally love watching fireworks and I think that chrysanthemums in particular are absolutely incredible but maybe we do need to start considering their environmental impacts. Even if we don’t completely stop utilising them, we should at least limit our usage. It’s unnecessary to go overboard.