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Resource ID: #14348
Subject: Entertainment
Source: CNN Radio
Date: 1997-12-29



The story deals with the use of pyrotechnics and theatrical fogs in Broadway performances. Every year, tens of thousands of people are exposed to gases, smoke and particulate matter from special effects. Some of these people may suffer severe problems, from allergic reactions to anaphylactic shock, from the effects. Since April of 1994, Disney's Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast have been using such effects, and they have been hurting the musicians. The theater where it is performed has a ventilation system that draws air from the stage down into the orchestra pit. Much of the gas and particulates from the pyrotechnics were being drawn into the pit. By November of '95, musicians started wearing respirators while performing, and they continue to do so. Disney has ignored their complaints, referring only to the orchestra's "discomfort," but denying any health problems were occurring. However, doctors have documented seven cases (out of 24 musicians) of worker-related health problems. One musician with workplace asthma won a worker's compensation case.

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