Fireworks cause environmental pollution

May 29, 2007

U.S. government scientists say Fourth of July fireworks displays often held over lakes and other bodies of water can pollute the water with perchlorate.

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's Richard Wilkin and colleagues, who conducted the research, note concerns have arisen over the effects of environmental perchlorate on human health and wildlife. Sources of perchlorate range from lightening and certain fertilizers to the perchlorate compounds in rocket fuel and explosives.

Scientists long suspected community fireworks displays were another source, but few studies had been done on the topic.

Wilkin's group has now established fireworks displays as a source of perchlorate contamination by analyzing water in an Oklahoma lake before and after fireworks displays in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Within 14 hours after the fireworks, perchlorate levels rose 24 to 1,028 times above background levels. Levels peaked about 24 hours after the display, and then decreased to the pre-fireworks background within 20- to 80 days.

The study is detailed in the June 1 issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: UN moves toward major treaty for ocean biodiversity

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The Facebook of plant science

16 minutes ago

By building PhotosynQ - a handheld device with sensors and an online data-sharing and analysis platform - a team of Michigan State University researchers is creating the plant-science equivalent of Facebook.

Recommended for you

UN moves toward major treaty for ocean biodiversity

39 minutes ago

UN member states agreed Saturday to begin negotiations on a treaty to protect marine biodiversity in ocean areas extending beyond territorial waters, in a move heralded by environmental organizations.

Ocean science needs more funding

Jan 23, 2015

Facing critical dangers like rising seas and the impact of climate change on marine life, US scientists need more funding in the next decade, officials said Friday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.