The capping of the amount of fireworks let off each year should be discussed as soon as possible, the Church’s Environment Commission has insisted.

“We understand that it will be difficult for this discussion to be sincere, rational and without high emotional levels… but this discussion needs to start as soon as possible,” the commission said.

This would be in best interest of the public, fireworks enthusiasts and tourism,it said in a statement issued in reaction to comments made by the Maltese Pyrotechnic Society.

Last week the society criticised a recent report on fireworks drawn up by the commission, saying it was contradictory and intended to create “sensationalism”.

The society said the commission’s report contradicted an inquiry report into fireworks accidents that had recommended the use of a particular chemical called perchlorate. The commission said it harmed the environment.

Yesterday the commission said it could be argued that before there was a consensus on the effects of perchlorate on people’s health, it should remain uncontrolled. However, this would mean using the public as guinea pigs until research was carried out.

The commission added that it was time to discuss the matter seriously. It denied implications that it had a hidden agenda after the society criticised the timing of the commission’s report, claiming it was intended to increase the pressure made by the ecclesiastical authorities on feasts in Malta.

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