Reykjavík Public Health Office Suggests Restrictions On Fireworks Skip to content
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Reykjavík Public Health Office Suggests Restrictions On Fireworks

The Reykjavík Public health Office considers it desirable that sale of large fireworks to the public is restricted and that such fireworks should only be used in official fireworks displays requiring official permits. While the Ministry of Justice has recently suggested limiting sales and use of fireworks to only a few days around New Year’s Eve, the Public Health Office calls it an anachronism to create an unhealthy situation for shortlived entertainment.

The Minister of Justice has published a draft for regulations suggesting that the sales period of fireworks is shortened and that the public would only be allowed to set off fireworks for a period of three days.

Read more: Should Iceland Restrict the Public’s Access to Fireworks?

The Reykjavík Public Health Office stated in its comment that these restrictions will be hard to enforce. Experience shows that the use of fireworks happens outside the current permissible period, both in the days before and after New Year’s Eve but also in other times of the year. The Public Health Office believes the regulations should be stricter, giving municipalities the option to ban the use of firework in their area.

The public health office says it’s unacceptable to create unhealthy conditions in an urban area with the public’s unrestricted use of fireworks. The worst cases, there can be enough pollution to rival a natural disaster. The office also considers it desirable to ban the sale of large fireworks to the public and that there could even be limits to how many fireworks one individual can purchase. It’s an “anachronism to recreationally create situations that are bad for public health.”

The Reykjavík Public Health Office’s review was presented at a meeting with the Reykjavík Committee of Environment and Health. The meeting’s minutes included a formal entry from the committee’s majority that they agreed wholeheartedly with the Public Health Office’s stance. It was sad that this chance hadn’t been used to make more effective and more radical changes, such as banning particularly dangerous fireworks or setting a limit to individual fireworks’ purchases. Shortlived entertainment couldn’t justify that people’s environment and health were put in danger.

The committee’s independence party and centre party members, on the other hand, didn’t consider it within the city’s jurisdiction to decide which fireworks could or could not be sold. They also disagreed with that limits should be placed on how much fireworks each individual could purchase or how many fireworks would be imported.

In Iceland, New Year’s Eve is traditionally celebrated with a bonfire and fireworks. In recent years, there have been increased concerns over the safety of these celebrations, especially in densely populated urban areas.

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