Less particulate matter from fireworks than previously thought

Less particulate matter from fireworks than previously thought

The annual new year’s eve fireworks apparently emit less fine dust than previously assumed.

This is the result of a study commissioned by the german pyrotechnic industry association (VPI), in which the german federal environment agency was also involved. Earlier, the "suddeutsche zeitung" had reported about this.

The result: on new year’s eve 2019, fireworks caused about 1477 tons of fine dust in germany. The german federal environment agency (UBA) had previously assumed that the burning of fireworks releases around 4,200 tons of fine dust each year – most of it on new year’s eve.

The new study by the VPI is based on laboratory measurements, which were then extrapolated to the explosive mass of all fireworks consumed nationwide. According to the study, the contribution of new year’s eve fireworks to annual particulate matter emissions was "just 0.7 percent," study director fritz keller told the "suddeutsche zeitung" newspaper.

The federal environment agency confirmed to the german press agency on monday that it had been in contact with the VPI. Ute dauert, head of the department, described the results to the "suddeutsche zeitung" newspaper as "more realistic findings" about fine dust emissions from fireworks compared to the values previously calculated.

The german environmental aid organization (DUH) criticized the CPI for working with "cheap sleight of hand. "On the one hand, it is not surprising when commissioned studies supposedly confirm the position of the industry paying for the study. On the other hand, we consider the chosen test arrangement of laboratory measurements in metal containers of a finnish institute to be highly questionable," said the DUH’s federal managing director, jurgen resch. Above all, however, the health hazards of fireworks must not be downplayed.

Fine particulates are tiny particles. Depending on the coarseness, these can reach not only deep into the lungs and bronchi, but also into the blood and cause diseases of the cardiovascular system. Air pollution caused by fine dust also has a negative impact on the environment.