Environmental Chemistry

What fireworks go up in the air?

Pollution of soil and rivers

What fireworks go up in the air?

Fireworks :fireworks


fire fireworks consists essentially of black powder as a fuel consisting of coal , of sulfur and saltpetre, and an oxidizing agent (most often of perchlorate potassium ).

There are also fine metallic particles that give their bright colors to fireworks. Blue comes, for example, from copper , red from strontium or lithium , and bright green or white from barium .

Fireworks more polluting than car traffic

During its explosion, the bomb releases millions of fine particles into the atmosphere that generate significant pollution, much higher than that due to car traffic .

 In 2012, Airparif analyzed the concentration of fine particles in the air following the show in the capital and observed an increase of more than 3,000% in the firing zone.

The level then drops quickly to normal, but at the national level, the concentration of fine particles is still 42% higher during the 24 hours after a fireworks, according to a study on the national holiday of July 4 in the United States and published in  Science Direct.

In the United Kingdom, fireworks are today the largest source of production of certain metallic particles in the atmosphere.

 These fine particles are at the origin of well-documented health problems: respiratory diseases, increased risks for asthmatics and cardiac patients , etc.

The combustion of the black powder causes a significant release of CO 2 .

A fireworks display, such as that of 14 July, with 30 tons of powder, projects 14.7 tons of CO 2 into the atmosphere , the equivalent of a journey of 67,000 km by petrol car.

Pollution of soils and riverspollution of soil and air

When they fall back on the ground, the dust will also pollute the environment. The propellant (a propellant) and dyes unburned contaminate soil and rivers.

 Copper, for example, is likely to cause high levels of dioxin and skin problems; the phosphorus causes eutrophication of lakes and bariummay have harmful effects on the heart and intestine.

 Water bodies near seaside resorts and amusement parks, where fireworks are common, are experiencing recurring problems with water quality.

 Finally, there is “visible” pollution: the cardboard and paper residues that litter the ground after firing and are not always collected.

The eco-friendly alternatives to fireworks

In recent years, however, fireworks have attempted to reduce the environmental impact of fireworks.

Modern fireworks now use compressed air to propel pyrotechnic devices and perchlorates can be replaced by nitrogen compounds such as tetrazole or bistetrazole.

 But we could especially substitute fireworks with sound and light shows , or even flights of swarm drones , for equally breathtaking shows.

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