Understanding The Harmful Effects of Fireworks

Aditya Ray
4 min readDec 20, 2020

Fireworks! They are such a Colorful and beautiful treat to our eyes. Almost we all love to at least see them if not to explode them. Who (except some 339 million asthmatic people and few billion animals) doesn’t like seeing the beautiful patterns and colors of fireworks? But do you know on what scale these crackers are degrading our environment? By reading this article you will come to know about the same and hopefully will not burst fireworks ever again in your life.

Why should we stop bursting firecrackers?

Fireworks are a very common thing in many festivals, New Year celebrations, marriages, etc. But they deliver immense damage to our environment in multiple number of ways. They create extensive pollution and releases large amount of fine metal particles, harmful chemical toxins and dangerous smoke in a very short amount of time. Many of the toxic substances released are non biodegradable and does not disintegrate even after years. These types of particles remain in the air for long time and poisons everything that come into contact with them. Fireworks are made up of gun powder, accelerant, heavy metals and numerous contaminants, such as ozone, carbon dioxide, nitric oxide and sulfur dioxide.

Many of the particles released from fireworks containing propellants and colorants fall on the ground and enter the soil, ultimately find their way to the water system. Once these pollutants enter the water, they cause number diseases and disorders not only in humans but also in animals and trees.

smoke due to fireworks

Effect of fireworks on humans

Exposure to fine particles, like those found in smoke and haze create health problems like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, asthma and even heart attacks. The people who are suffering from lung and heart diseases, older adults and children are more exposed to the ill effects of fireworks. The toxic smoke and chemicals produced during bursting of fireworks can be directly inhaled and reach to the lungs. Perchlorate a chemical commonly found in firecrackers can lead to goiter and thyroid cancer. Strontium, a heavy metal used to produce the bright red colors in fireworks, has been linked to many serious health consequences, including birth defects, damaged bone marrow, inhibited bone growth, anemia and impaired blood clotting. Some of the other chemicals dispersed by fireworks, such as aluminum, barium, cadmium, dioxins, and rubidium, are radioactive and known carcinogens. Exposure to these chemicals has been associated with a host of health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, heart disease, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders and chronic fatigue.

air pollution in New Delhi

Effects on animal and aquatic life

The heavier pollutant particles fall on the ground are washed by rain to water bodies. These pollutants enter the food chain of aquatic animals and slowly accumulate in them ultimately causing their death and thus disrupt the natural food chain of the habitat.

There are many harmful effects on animals also. Many animals suffer permanent hearing loss due to noise of firecrackers as their ears are much more sensitive than of humans. The pet animals are specially affected as they remain in close proximity to the display of fireworks. They also suffer from shock and fear due to noise and lights. Apart from these they also suffer from lung diseases as seen in humans.

The noise of firecrackers can cause bird’s tachycardia and even death by fright. The high degree of stress birds experience is indicated by the fact that birds may temporarily or permanently abandon the places where they are.

Effects on Environment

Fireworks cause massive amount air, soil, water and noise pollution. The air pollution from them helps in global warming and rise of planets temperature. Effects of global warming can be seen by depletion of glaciers and uneven change in the climate. Also noise pollution created by it causes many health implications in humans and animals. Apart from these the polluted soil causes blockage in growth of trees and crops.

Alternatives of fireworks

There are many alternatives for fireworks available so you do not need to be upset. Now a days 100% green fireworks are made, which cause minimum pollution to the environment. Also many more beautiful alternatives such as laser and light shows are equally entertaining as fireworks.

To conclude production of such harmful and polluting fireworks should be banned by government. Also the common people should understand their responsibility and boycott fireworks and find other safe and green substitutes to them. We cannot destroy our planet and next generation just for sake of entertainment and temporary enjoyment.



Aditya Ray

I write on topics that affect me. I Follow Science, Technology & Nature related activities.