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Smoke from fireworks is harmful to health
Date:11/16/2010

of nitric oxide (NO) and sulphur dioxide (SO2).

Other studies have confirmed that the smoke from fireworks increases the presence of metallic particles in the skies over L'Alcora and Borriana (Castelln), Barcelona and even London (United Kingdom) during the Guy Fawkes' Night celebrations.

"People who live in cities already inhale significant amounts of contaminant particles stemming from traffic emissions, chimneys and cigarettes, and the dense smoke caused by fireworks only worsens this situation", points out Moreno.

Possible solutions

The researcher compares the problem with that of tobacco. "The less you expose yourself to the smoke, the fewer negative effects it will have on your health, and so the best solution is to avoid inhaling it".

According to the scientists, in the absence of a ban on fireworks, spectators should stay well back in a place not affected by the smoke and pay attention to the wind direction. They also recommend that fireworks displays should be sited in a place that ensures the plume of smoke will blow away from densely populated areas.

An added problem is the chemical mixtures in the different kinds of fireworks, since some contain extremely toxic metals such as lead. "There should be strict controls on fireworks imports so that those with the potentially most dangerous chemical composition can be avoided", concludes Moreno.


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FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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