More products are being imported to the US from China than ever before – but a series of scares has left some wondering whether they are safe.
From pet food to toothpaste, tyres to jewellery and seafood to toys, questions have been raised over the reliability of Chinese-made goods.
A lesson may lie in the approach taken by the fireworks industry, which has focused on education and stringent product testing within China.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, standards for Chinese-made fireworks were so low that as many as 75% failed US safety tests.
To tackle the problem, US importers were encouraged to pay for a testing operation set up in China – the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory (AFSL) – to monitor production straight from the assembly line. Click to read the full story.
PUPILS at a Wirral school reached for the stars to end Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year in an explosion of fireworks. Television cameras followed the group of 18 second years at Woodchurch High School for six months as they learned about the secret science of fireworks during lessons and visits to China and the USA. Physics teacher Andy Smith was tasked with changing the teenagers’ low opinion of science and inspiring them to design the first minute of a firework display launched from boats on the Mersey in January. Their adventures will feature in a three-part documentary, Rocket Science, which starts on BBC 2 this Friday at 9pm. Andy, 32, from Oxton, said: “At the beginning most of the class told me they didn’t like science but it’s given them more of an interest in the subject.” “When they saw the firework display they couldn’t believe what they’d been able to achieve. “But my 10 minutes of fame are definitely up now – no more!” Andy, who has been teaching at Woodchurch High for 10 years, was approached to take part in the series after he was spotted by producers on Teachers TV. Rebekah Phillips, acting headteacher at Woodchurch High, said: “It was an absolutely fantastic opportunity for the class and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
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While the city of Mason has up to $365,000 to spend on its Fourth of July festival, the city of Hamilton is scrambling to scrape up $25,000 for its fireworks show.
The city’s Fourth of July committee is asking for donations to keep the fireworks booming for the 47th annual celebration.
“If we can raise more than that, we can have a bigger and better display,” Bob Harris, parks and recreation director, said. “With these economic times, I think people would like to celebrate and have a good day to forget about their woes and troubles for a while.”
The volunteer committee says it already has enough money for a planned parade and patriotic ceremony to honor veterans — provided by the Hamilton Community Foundation’s Michael J. Colligan fund. However, the fiscally strapped city lacks the money for a fireworks display and other post-parade activities, Harris said.
Thousands of visitors line the shores of the Great Miami River for the annual show, Harris said. Many of those visitors likely won’t show up to buy local goods and services if there are no fireworks to see.
“If we don’t have fireworks, we’ll have people from our community attend events from other communities that do [have fireworks],” he said. “We want the businesses to afford to stay [in Hamilton]. We don’t want them to leave.”
All donations will go to the event committee, not the city, Harris said. Anyone interested in donating can contact the Hamilton Community Fund at 513-863-1717.