Fireworks and the Environment

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

STEMconnector

For a few days this week, fireworks will light the night sky as we celebrate the birth of the United States of America and its independence. However, as marvelous as fireworks tend to be, have you ever thought about their impact on the environment?

Fireworks are made using a number of metals that release a number of different colors when ignited, leaving behind a trail of smoke and other chemicals to be released into the atmosphere, all of which contribute to air pollution. Residual dusts and other particulate matter from the fireworks then fall back down to the earth and can pose risks to both people, plants and animals, especially if they already suffer from heart or lung issues.

The environment also suffers from the impact of fireworks. Particulate matter left over from the fireworks may contain chemicals and colorants that can seep into the soil and water systems, negatively impacting the environment and increasing our carbon footprint.

Luckily, 4th of July fireworks present a somewhat temporary issue in comparison with many of the other pollution issues that face our nation and world. Scientists and pyro-technicians have developed some newer fireworks that are less harmful to the environment and still allow us to enjoy the show!

Learn more about how fireworks and air pollution in the clip below: