are deceivingly beautiful but I took a closer look.
contain many poisons and carcinogens and cause many injuries and deaths every
year. The environmental impact of these poisonous and sometimes radioactive
elements being spread of human and animal populations is astounding!
we get started I have to say there is another great site on this topic : http://www.backcountryattitude.com/toxic_fireworks.html
Toxicity & Pollution
Neurological Effects?! There is a seemingly unending supply of science and
studies that leave me shocked that fireworks are used at all. Here are some
interesting articles followed by chemical effects on biological systems.
…able to cause
reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere
with hormones and also cause cancer…
…fireworks produce smoke and dust that contain various heavy metals,
sulfur-coal compounds and other noxious chemicals. Barium, for instance, is
used to produce brilliant green colors in fireworks displays, despite being
poisonous and radioactive. Copper compounds are used to produce blue colors,
even though they contain dioxin, which has been linked to cancer. Cadmium,
lithium, antimony, rubidium, strontium, lead and potassium nitrate are also
commonly used to produce different effects, even though they can cause a host
of respiratory and other health problems…
“Fireworks and Heavy Metals
The explosion of fireworks has been discovered to be a source of intense heavy
metal release that is being addressed in Sweden and other countries. The
fireworks that are displayed in the skies to celebrate events such as
Independence Day and New Years Eve, etc. contain carcinogenic sulphur-coal
compounds. Fireworks spread an odor of black gunpowder and spreads radioactive
barium, which makes the green sparkling color and considerable amounts of
strontium, along with arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead, copper, zinc and
chromium. These toxic metals have been measured and found to be four to five
times elevated in the air after the fireworks displays. In the United States
alone, it is estimated that 90 tons of lead alone, are released in an hour or
two of fireworks displays. The increased heavy metal exposure constitutes a
direct risk for people with asthma, metal allergies and chemical sensitivities.
Infants and children are particularly vulnerable and may suffer permanent
damage. Many pet owners and farmers are concerned and wild life remains
completely unprotected. Many displays are over lakes and other bodies of water,
used for drinking water and recreational swimming. This is discouraging and
demoralizing to learn that such a vast pollution release on one single occasion
the fireworks, perchlorate concentrations spiked to values ranging from 24x to
1028× the mean baseline value…
• Lung Desease
…sulfur-laden gases and particulate matter may seriously affect asthmatics and
sufferers of lung diseases…
• Strontium (red):
Effect on the human body
the radioactive 90Sr can lead to various bone disorders and diseases, including bone
cancer. The strontium
unit is used in measuring radioactivity from absorbed 90Sr.
• Aluminum (white):
According to the Alzheimer's Society, the overwhelming medical and scientific
opinion is that studies have not convincingly demonstrated a causal
relationship between aluminium and Alzheimer's disease. Nevertheless, some studies, such as
those on the PAQUID
cohort, cite aluminium exposure as a risk
factor for Alzheimer's disease. Some brain
plaques have been found to contain increased levels of
• Barium (green):
Biological dangers and precautions
low doses, barium ions act as a muscle stimulant, whereas higher doses affect
system, causing cardiac irregularities, tremors, weakness, anxiety, dyspnea and paralysis. This may be due to the ability of Ba2+ to
block potassium ion channels, which are critical to the proper function
of the nervous system. Other target organs for water-soluble
barium compounds (i.e., barium ions) are eyes, immune system, heart,
respiratory system, and skin. They affect the body strongly, causing,
for example, blindness and sensitization.
is not carcinogenic, and it does not bioaccumulate. However, inhaled dust containing
insoluble barium compounds can accumulate in the lungs, causing a benign condition called baritosis. For comparison to the soluble poisons,
the insoluble sulfate is nontoxic and is thus not classified as a dangerous
• Cadmium (various):
most dangerous form of occupational exposure to cadmium is inhalation of fine
dust and fumes, or ingestion of highly soluble cadmium compounds. Inhalation of cadmium-containing fumes
can result initially in metal fume
fever but may progress to chemical pneumonitis, pulmonary
edema, and death.
Injuries & Deaths
I only listed a few sources but there are many about the instantaneous
injury potential from being at a show or using your own fireworks. Try doing a
search for “fireworks injure spectators” etc. You will be shocked!
• 9600 People treated do to fireworks injuries!
Quoting the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
injuries sent more than 3,800 children to hospital emergency rooms in 1997”
are alternatives to fireworks so here is one:
Environmental look at LASERS vs. Fireworks
no earsplitting whistle booms or concussions from lasers.
no large strobe-like flashes from lasers
Verdict : Lasers, Minimal Impact, if any on
common laser show1 (4 hours)
kg of Carbon
A small Lighting rig2 (4 hours)
kg of Carbon
average Fireworks show5 (4 minutes)
every 270 grams of black powder used, 132 grams of carbon dioxide are created!
the weight is converted to CO2
Verdict : Lasers, Small carbon footprint
compared to other Special Effects!
1. (2 2-3W green heads =800W)
2. (4 MAC 250 (360 W), 12 Source-4 or PAR(600W),
Taking into account Packaging Fallout, and water as a result of combustion.
Carcinogens or Pollutants.
are simply coherent light beams and do not directly produce any carcinogens or pollutants.
smells, health effects, or residues.
Verdict : Lasers, NO Carcinogens or Toxic