Do New Year’s Eve Fireworks give the Worst Air Quality?


After having a great time with Christmas, are you also ready to welcome the new year 2022 in a good mood? New year’s eve is a great day that we are all having fun which gives a warmth “Goodbye” to the following year.

But did you also notice new year eves are the days with far more inconvenience to deal with the existed atmosphere?

If you are a person with asthma or some issue in the respiratory system, you might also well not be good soon after the new year’s eve celebration.

The main reason behind this is quick air quality change in a few hours in a limited area which can cause several health problems. Therefore, from day KNOW YOUR FACTS, we decided to discuss this Air quality issue on New Year Eve and how it can impact us. Stay with us. Read and enjoy.

Do Fireworks Make New Year Beauty?

The main Factor behind here is the usage of Fireworks as a celebration material at night at an insane level. Due to this reason, there is a sudden rise of the massive level of air pollutants.

Each new year’s eve, the united states spend millions of dollars on tons of fireworks to welcome the new year.
According to research findings of the Netherlands, in 1995-2015, there was a significant increment of firework air pollution level in December. Mostly in Particulate matter level in PM10.

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New Year Eve with Fireworks

They have identified this level in 29 μg/m3 concentration near the New year, and there is a considerable rise in new year festivals up to 277 μg/m3. In some areas, this value had gone up to 598 μg/m3.

Usually, most fireworks contain 75% KNO3, 15% Charcoal, and 10% Sulfur. In the ignition process, these chemicals can quickly generate several air pollutants in a short period of time.

Why do fireworks create a Bad Air Quality ?

Typically fireworks are designed with several chemical compounds, creating health hazard outcomes at their ignition process. Most fireworks are included.

  1. metal salts,
  2. sulfur
  3. charcoal
  4. potassium nitrate.
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Colors of fireworks depend on Chemicals and ingredents

Following chemicals are included in fireworks depending on their color.

  1. Red – strontium carbonate
  2. Orange – calcium chloride
  3. Yellow – sodium nitrate
  4. Green – barium chloride
  5. Blue – copper chloride
  6. Purple – a mixture of strontium (red) and copper (blue)

After the quick ignition process, these chemicals create thousands of air pollutants throughout several miles of distance in an instant in the upper atmosphere. There are critical pollutants in this list.

1. Particulate Matter (PM 10/ PM 2.5)

Particulate matters are the pollutant particles with a specific size in micrometre levels in their diameter size. For example, PM 10 stands for Particulate matter with a diameter lesser than 10 micrometres.

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Particulate matter creates worst pollution after fireworks

When this value decreases, penetration capability through the respiratory system increases.

This ignition process of a firework can generate thousands of tiny particles with higher penetration capability. Like PM 2.5. Most particles generated with ignition sulfur and potassium nitrates like SO2 and NO2 come under PM 2.5.

2. Volatile Organic Compounds ( VOCs)

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. Several chemicals lead to several air health problems.

Mostly, petroleum and several kinds of hydraulic fluids maintain this pollutant.

In ignition of a firework often creates a VOCs-filled atmosphere in a shorter time. If this compound gets stuck in the indoor area, it can cause a ten times higher impact than usual.

3. Ultrafine Particles ( UFPs)

These are particles comes under tiny and hazardous category in function. Most of UFPs are smaller than 0.003 micrometres in diameter size.

These can penetrate the respiratory system and enter your bloodstream quickly. Unlike PM2.5 particles, UFPs cannot be detected or trapped easily. Also, 90% of airborne pollutant particles are coming under the UPFs category at any stage.
Apart from these primary air pollutants following compounds can be detected after igniting fireworks.

4. Carbon Monoxide

5. Sulfur Dioxide

6. Nitrogen Oxide

As mentioned before, these pollutants are generated due to the sulfur and potassium nitrate oxidation process.

Some States have Restricted Fireworks

In the United States, several states have already restricted and banned the usage of fireworks by their law. The American Pyrotechnics Association maintains the law behind the use of fireworks in the directory of state laws.

  1. Massachusetts is the only state that has entirely banned fireworks consumption at any level.
  2. There are 46 states + DC that are allowed some or all types of consumer fireworks permitted by the federal regulations
  3. Also States; Illinois, Ohio, Vermont are allowed only wire or wood stick sparklers and other novelty items.

This figure shows how the regulations have been implemented between the states in the united states.

Under the 2016 Exceptional Events Rule government has identified fireworks as an event that air quality can be influenced as identical as wildfires, high winds, volcanoes, etc.

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Fireworks have been restricted

Under that regulation, the state needs to develop an implementation plan to control this air pollution problem under the limits of the EPA standard guidelines.

How can this Smoke impact on us ?

Primarily this toxic dust has included particulate matter, which is small than the diameter of our hair and quickly gets through our respiratory system, which is particularly harmful to our health. Mostly, this smoke makes

  1. headaches
  2. pneumonia
  3. Abnormal lung function
  4. high blood pressure
  5. reduced lung function
  6. irregular heartbeat
  7. heart attacks
  8. breathing problems

When fireworks have been lit near a residential area, more significant outdoor atmospheres are practical can be suitable for a hangout for the community due to abnormalities of the unbreathable air can exist for a shorter period.

But when it counts indoors, that impact might stay awhile, which creates a hazardous environment to live in (Reference).

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Smoke creates the worst health impacts

According to the records of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) in Germany, fireworks produced 5,000 tons of particulate matter (PM10 — particles measuring less than 10 microns in diameter) at the end of Christmas and new year eve, which is 17% of the increment of the total air pollutant by vehicles in traffic throughout the year.

Apart from that, fireworks have become a reason behind wildfires in some states.

According to the National Fire Protection Association Fireworks have become a significant rule behind some wildfires and cause a higher number of injuries. This is why banning fireworks on the 4th of July controls the situation in some of the states.

Additionally, in 2011 NFPA points out that there were 17800 fires has been caused by the stats and over 16300 outside grass and other fires caused by fireworks.

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