Sparklers as a nanohazard: size distribution measurements of the nanoparticles released from sparklers
- 185 Downloads
Sparklers, sometimes called Bengal lights, are widely used for the celebration of a variety of events due to their esthetic and entertaining effects. They are especially popular with children. While their associated safety measures deal with rules regarding possible burns to the skin or eyes, the strong emission of nanoparticles during the combustion of sparklers is usually both ignored and unregulated. Here, we report on the high concentrations of nanoparticles released during the indoor combustion of sparklers. Large proportions of the metals making up the sparking material are released into the atmosphere. Information based on chemical analyses of pristine and burned sparklers is compared to the relevant data relating to the released nanoparticles. Their small size and the presence of barium suggest that the use of sparklers as a children’s entertainment should be reconsidered.
KeywordsAir pollution Sparklers Size distribution measurements Barium Nanoparticles Pyrotechnics
The authors thank Marko Djorić for his technical assistance with the measurement of nanoparticles in the air, Mira Zupančič for the chemical analysis, and the Centre of Excellence Namaste and the Slovenian Research Agency for financing.
- Azhagurajan A, Selvakumar N (2014) Impact of nano particles on safety and environment for fireworks chemicals. Proc Saf Environ PSEP-397. doi: 10.1016/j.psep.2013.12.007
- Betha R, Balasubramanian R (2013) Particulate emissions from commercial handheld sparklers: evaluation of physical characteristics and emission rates. Aerosol and Air Quality Research 13:301–307Google Scholar
- Directive 2007/23/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 May 2007 on the placing on the market of pyrotechnic articles (2007/23/EC), OJ L 154 of 14.6.2007Google Scholar
- Klouda K, Brádka S, Otáhal P (2012) Experiences with anthropogenic aerosol spread in the environment, atmospheric aerosols—regional characteristics—chemistry and physics, Dr. Hayder Abdul-Razzak (ed), ISBN: 978-953-51-0728-6, InTech. doi: 10.5772/48439
- McManus HD, Wiqal VF, Long RS (1975) Sparkler composition, patent 3862865Google Scholar
- Occupational Safety and Health Standards—OSHA 29 CFR 1910, U.S. Department of Labor/Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationGoogle Scholar
- Regulatory guidelines for shipping and transporting fireworks, Revised June 2012, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of TransportationGoogle Scholar