The U.S. recently celebrated the Fourth of July with dazzling fireworks displays in many cities.
The U.S. recently celebrated the Fourth of July with dazzling fireworks displays in many cities. After the “oohs” and “ahhs” faded, some people might have wondered how the lingering gunpowder-scented smoke affected air quality. Now researchers reporting inACS Earth and Space Chemistry have conducted detailed measurements and found increased levels of several pollutants after an Independence Day fireworks event in Albany, New York.
According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, about 254 million pounds of fireworks exploded in consumer and public displays in 2017. Previous studies have shown that fireworks festivities around the world can cause very high short-term air pollution, which could have harmful effects on the respiratory system in humans. However, most of these studies used filter-based methods to collect air over 12- or 24-hour time periods, so they didn’t provide real-time information. James Schwab and colleagues wanted to conduct a detailed investigation on air quality before, during and after a large firework display in Albany, New York –– a city of about 100,000 people that typically has relatively clean air.
Read more at American Chemical Society