Fireworks and Air Quality

FireworksIt’s that time of year again, when we celebrate 4th of July by watching fireworks displays and setting off backyard fireworks. It’s a time of fun, family and happiness, and fireworks have come to symbolize all of those good things we associate with the holiday.

Unfortunately, though, all the chemicals and smoke associated with fireworks contribute to unhealthy air conditions. The fine toxic dust created by fireworks can enter our sensitive nose and lung tissues and cause health problems. The dust, in particular, threatens those people with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) or asthma. In addition to the dust, firework smoke contains a toxic mixture of chemicals, gasses, heavy metals and sulfur.

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Fireworks Are Going Green

Fireworks DisplayThe Fourth of July is a great occasion to enjoy the company of family and good friends, eat great food, and celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s independence with visually stunning fireworks displays. While fun to watch, fireworks can be hazardous to the environment around them. The explosions and colorful light displays are often created using various heavy metals, sulfur-coal compounds, and other noxious chemicals. For example, Barium is frequently used to create green colors in fireworks and Copper compounds are used to create blue colors—even though these compounds have been linked to cancer. In addition to the potential harmful effects of these chemicals, fireworks can also leave behind hazardous smoke and physical debris.
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