Friday, July 03, 2020

Common fireworks release toxic metals into the air

News Release 1-Jul-2020
NYU Langone Health / NYU School of Medicine

Some of America's favorite Independence Day fireworks emit lead, copper, and other toxins, a new study suggests. These metals, which are used to give fireworks their vibrant color, also damage human cells and animal lungs.

Led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the study showed harmful levels of lead in two of 12 types of commercially-available fireworks sampled. Experiments using rodents and human tissue also showed that lung exposure to particle emissions from five types of firework significantly increased oxidation, a chemical process in the body that can damage or even kill cells if left unchecked.

"While many are careful to protect themselves from injury from explosions, our results suggest that inhaling firework smoke may cause longer-term damage, a risk that has been largely ignored," says study senior author Terry Gordon, PhD, a professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine at NYU Langone Health.


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