Fireworks Air Pollution in New Year

Copy of Perfect Time to Upgrade Your Air Quality 80 1 1

Fireworks Air Pollution in New Year | Know Your Facts

This Article is Updated on – 28/12/2023, Originally posted on – 28/12/2022

Fireworks air pollution is quite common at the beginning of every new year in general. After each year, it is customary to welcome the new year with spectacular fireworks, and no one cares how much dander these can contribute to the atmosphere in a short amount of time.

If you have asthma or a respiratory condition, you may not feel well following the New Year’s Eve midnights.

Therefore, from today’s KNOW YOURS FACTS, let’s explore how these fireworks air pollution can damage your life, how dangerous they can be to multiple health categories, and what we can do to avoid the effects of this air pollution. Read and enjoy the content.

New Year Beauty with Fireworks

The primary reason for this is the overuse of fireworks as nighttime celebration material. Due to this cause, there is a rapid increase in the number of air pollutants.

On the eve of the new year, the United States spends millions of dollars on tons of pyrotechnics.

According to a study conducted in the Netherlands between 1995 and 2015, the degree of air pollution caused by fireworks in December increased significantly. Mostly in PM10 Particulate Matter Level

mike markov uYaKm4NFSAU unsplash 1
New Year fireworks give the best experience

They have detected this level in 29 g/m3 concentration near the New Year, and there is a significant increase to 277 g/m3 during New Year celebrations. In certain regions, this amount had reached 598 g/m3.

Typically, fireworks are composed of 75% KNO3, 15% Charcoal, and 10% Sulfur. During the ignition process, these compounds can generate numerous air pollutants in a short time.

How Does Fireworks Air Pollution Cause?

Typically, fireworks are formulated with many chemical ingredients, resulting in health risks upon igniting. The majority of fireworks are covered.

  1. Metal salts,
  2. Sulfur
  3. Charcoal
  4. Potassium nitrate.

Depending on their color, pyrotechnics contain the following substances.

  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 an instantaneous process of ignition, these compounds produce thousands of air pollutants over several kilometers in the higher atmosphere. On this list are essential pollutants.

1. Particulate Matter (PM 10/ PM 2.5)

Particulate materials are pollution particles with a particular diameter measured in micrometers. For instance, PM 10 refers to particles with a diameter of fewer than 10 micrometers.

When this value lowers, respiratory system penetration capability increases.

This process of a firework’s lighting can generate hundreds of tiny particles with greater penetrability. Like PM 2.5.

The majority of particles produced by sulfur and potassium nitrates during combustion, such as SO2 and NO2, fall beneath PM 2.5.

2. Ultrafine Particles (UFPs)

These particles fall under the microscopic and dangerous category. The majority of UFPs have diameters smaller than 0.003 micrometers.

pexels harrison haines 2834154
Fireworks air pollution contains higher levels of fine particles

These can swiftly permeate the respiratory system and enter the bloodstream. Unlike PM2.5 particles, UFPs are difficult to detect and capture. Additionally, 90% of airborne pollution particles are UPFs at any given time.

3. Volatile Organic Compounds ( VOCs)

Certain solids and liquids produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the form of gases. Several substances contribute to numerous air quality issues.

Primarily, petroleum and a variety of hydraulic fluids are responsible for maintaining this pollution.

Inflammation from a firework frequently produces a VOC-rich atmosphere in a shorter amount of time. If this substance becomes entrapped in an indoor environment, it might have ten times the normal impact.

In addition to these principal air pollutants, the following chemicals can be found following the use of fireworks:

  1. Carbon Monoxide
  2. Sulfur Dioxide
  3. Nitrogen Oxide

As previously stated, these pollutants are produced through the oxidation of sulfur and potassium nitrate.

Some States have Restricted Fireworks

Several states in the United States have already restricted or prohibited the use of fireworks. The American Pyrotechnics Association maintains a directory of state laws governing the usage of fireworks.

  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, and 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

nadine shaabana DRzYMtae vA unsplash
Regulations always make sure to protect the environment

Under the 2016 Exceptional Events Rule, the government has designated fireworks as an event that can affect air quality similar to wildfires, high winds, and so on.

In accordance with this law, the state must prepare a strategy to mitigate this air pollution problem within the EPA’s standard parameters.

What are the Impacts of Fireworks Air Pollution?

This toxic dust primarily consists of particulate matter that is smaller than the width of a human hair and quickly enters our respiratory system, which is particularly hazardous to our health. Several of the medical conditions caused by fireworks air pollution:

  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 are detonated near a residential location, the unbreathable air can persist for a shorter period, allowing the community to enjoy the outdoors for longer periods.

But when it counts indoors, the effects may linger, creating a hazardous living environment.

pexels andrea piacquadio 3812745
Fireworks air pollution leads to several respiratory system-based medical conditions

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’s Eve, which is equivalent to 17 percent of the annual increase in total air pollution caused by vehicles in traffic.

In addition, fireworks have become a cause of wildfires in certain states.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks have become a major factor in some wildfires and have contributed to an increase in injuries. This is why some states handle the situation by banning Fourth of July fireworks.

In addition, the NFPA reports that in 2011 there were 17800 fires caused by pyrotechnics and over 16300 grass and other fires caused by fireworks outside.

What Can We Do Against Fireworks Air Pollution?

Controlling the air pollution caused by New Year’s fireworks is not as simple as people believe. After appreciating the view, the best approach to avoid being exposed to smoke from fireworks is to leave the surrounding area.

1. If you have a medical problem affecting the respiratory system, you should avoid polluted environments. You can also maintain a supporting respiratory system to be prepared for any eventuality.

2. With the current airflow, this contaminated air can travel throughout your living areas. Be sure to restrict outdoor activity until the smoke has dissipated.

3. If you stay indoors, you can reduce your exposure to secondhand smoke by placing an air purifier in your living room

kaspars eglitis dUjTX5 bgMw unsplash
If you are suffering from any medical condition make sure to minimize the smoke exposure

4. Ensure that as many openings to the exterior atmosphere are covered as feasible. Predominantly windows and doors. If not, a sudden change in airflow can quickly fill your indoor space with toxic smoke in a matter of seconds.

5. If you are going to use pyrotechnics, be sure to pick conventional, environmentally-friendly explosives that utilize less gun power.

Due to government rules and customer complaints, the majority of worldwide companies that employ fireworks are modifying their products to be more environmentally friendly.

Undoubtedly, fireworks are a marvelous and thrilling way to celebrate the new year. However, the smoke has a significant effect on our atmosphere, respiratory system, and New Year.

Ensure that you obtain this knowledge in a secure manner and with as little damage as possible.


As we revel in the beauty of New Year’s fireworks, let’s not turn a blind eye to the hidden dangers they pose.

By understanding the impact of fireworks air pollution and taking simple precautions, we can celebrate the arrival of the new year in a way that’s both breathtaking and safe.

So, here’s to a happy and healthy New Year, free from the smoke of ignorance!

Updated Article – Do New Year’s Eve Fireworks Give the Worst Air Quality? by Apeksha Senadeera



1. Why are fireworks air pollution a concern during New Year celebrations?

Fireworks, while visually stunning, release a mix of chemicals that contribute to air pollution. This can have adverse effects on our health and the environment, particularly during the New Year’s celebrations when fireworks usage is widespread

2. How far can fireworks air pollutants travel?

Firework pollutants can spread over several kilometers in the higher atmosphere, affecting air quality in a broader area

3. Which states in the United States have restrictions on fireworks usage?

Massachusetts is the only state that has entirely banned fireworks. Other states have varying degrees of restrictions, with the government recognizing fireworks as an event that can impact air quality

4. Are there any documented cases of wildfires caused by fireworks?

Yes, fireworks have been linked to wildfires in certain states. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks have contributed to a significant number of fires, leading to injuries and damage

5. How can one enjoy fireworks while minimizing the impact on health and the environment?

Enjoying fireworks responsibly involves choosing environmentally friendly explosives, being mindful of the air quality in your surroundings, and taking necessary precautions, especially for individuals with respiratory conditions


*This page contains affiliate links, and We earn commissions from qualifying purchases through these links. Please review our Affiliate Disclaimer for details.