The Hazards of Fireworks

Depending on their purpose, fireworks can be either commercially made or homemade. In both cases, the commercial-grade fireworks are loaded into mortars by hand. The setup process involves placing mortars on racks and loading shells. Once loaded, mortars are connected to electrical circuits and tested before being used. Most commercial fireworks are made with FRE mortars, but older, steel-made mortars are banned in many countries because they can produce shrapnel.

Sources of black powder

The history of fireworks includes the use of black powder. It was originally used to shape stones for masonry or as a fire starter in mining. This type of powder is still used today, but has largely been replaced by other, safer explosives. However, it has been used for a long time as a fire starter, with some enthusiasts of antique weapons gathering for black powder shoots. These days, newer formulations are used that contain less pollution and create less smoke.

Chemical reactions that take place during firework explosions

Fireworks have a chemistry all their own. They contain solid chemicals that undergo chemical reactions to produce the colours. When ignited in a high-temperature atmosphere, the chemicals transform into gaseous products. The primary chemical change occurs when oxygen, potassium, and hydrogen are combined with metal salts to produce heat. This heat releases chemical energy, which in turn causes the fireworks to explode. It also releases colour particles such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

Types of fireworks

Different types of fireworks are suitable for different occasions. Chrysanthemum fireworks fly high into the sky and explode in a circle shape, leaving behind faded trails. The effect of these fireworks is unique and makes the display seem like a chrysanthemum alone. Some fireworks come with a pistol in the center, which adds to the overall effect. In addition to looking beautiful, chrysanthemums are also more affordable than most other fireworks.


When people light fireworks and watch them go off, they are exposed to dangerous levels of suspended particulate matter (SPM). The SPM can cause eye and throat irritation, headaches, and lowered mental acuity. It can even cause congestion and aggravate respiratory conditions. These hazards can affect children and pregnant women. Here are some of the most common firework hazards:


While preventing injuries from explosions caused by fireworks is a noble goal, achieving that goal requires strong, consistent regulation. The proposed requirement would do both, by reducing the risk of injuries and promoting consistent identification of high-explosive devices. The Directorate for Economic Analysis (EC) memorandum indicates that the cost of implementing the new requirement would be minimal. In addition, fireworks tested by CPSC have been found to meet or exceed minimal compliance with an APA Standard 87-1 provision, and any required changes to bring non-compliant devices into compliance would likely be minimal.