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New study shows impact fireworks have on air quality

Fireworks (File photo)
iceflow studios
Fireworks (File photo)

A new study from Brigham Young University warns fireworks can increase air pollution.

Led by BYU geology professor Greg Carlig, the study found a mixture of dust, trace metals, smoke, liquid droplets and other pollutants is released into the air when fireworks explode.

This particulate matter includes PM2.5, or particles about 2.5 micrometers and smaller, which can be easily inhaled and get stuck in the lungs.

Carling’s research notes that the largest contributors of particulate matter along the Wasatch Front are mineral dust, winter inversion and Utah’s beloved fireworks.

The study also shows that metal pollution in particulate matter peaks in January and July, coinciding with winter inversions and summer fireworks.

The university says policymakers can use Carling’s research to limit the types and quantities of fireworks used, and to support further research into the health effect of trace metal pollution.