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Environmental Effects Of Fireworks On Bodies Of Water
Thomas A. DeBusk, Jcffrey J. Keaffaber, Benedict R. Schwegler, Jr., John Repoff


The effects of fireworks decomposition products (FWDP) an the environment are unknown. The infrequence of fireworks displays at most locations, coupled with the wide dispersion of constituents, make detection of FWDP difficult. The present study was conducted to evaluate the impact of repeated fireworks displays (2,000 shows over a decade) on a small lake (WSL) located at EPCOT Center in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Water chemistry data for WSL were collected from 1982 until the present, and sediments were characterized early in 1992. Heavy fireworks loading has not caused eutrophication or otherwise affected aesthetic characteristics of WSL, but it has added detectable amounts of barium, strontiwn and antimony to the water and sediments. The mass of antimony and barium in the surface sediments of WSL was found to be approximately lOOx greater than that in the water column, demonstrating that these elements accumulate principally as insoluble compounds. Gradual increases in water column concentrations of antimony and barium over the past decade have paralleled the cumulative number of fireworks displays at the site. While current water column concentrations of these metals in WSL are higher than those of nearby lakes, these levels are not thought to be harmful to aquatic biota. Site-specific characteristics that will influence impacts of FW-borne constituents includ size of the water body, hydraulic residence time, water and sediment physico-chemical characteristics, and cumulative fireworks loading over time. Data from this study suggest that environmental impacts from FWDP typically will be negligible in locations that conduct fireworks displays infrequently. Antimony may prove to be a good chemical "marker" for detecting fireworks activity at infrequently loaded sites, since for WSL, a close balance was found between the amount of antimony loaded from fireworks and the mass residing in the sediment and watet column.





Source type Document
Language en
Document type Feature
Media type text
Page count 11
Pages pp. 92-102


Id 3492
Availability Free
Inserted 2017-11-02