Fourth of July fireworks displays, often held over lakes and other bodies of water to minimize the risk of fire, can deposit significant amounts of perchlorate into the water, according to a study scheduled for the June 1 issue of ACS' Environmental Science & Technology, a semi-monthly journal.
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's Richard T. Wilkin and colleagues, who did the research, point out that concerns have arisen over the effects of environmental perchlorate on human health and wildlife. Sources of perchlorate range from lightening and certain fertilizers to the perchlorate compounds in rocket fuel and explosives.
Scientists long suspected that community fireworks displays were another source, but few studies had been done on the topic.
Wilkin's group definitely established fireworks displays as a source of perchlorate contamination by analyzing water in an Oklahoma lake before and after fireworks displays in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Within 14 hours after the fireworks, perchlorate levels rose 24 to 1,028 times above background levels. Levels peaked about 24 hours after the display, and then decreased to the pre-fireworks background within 20-80 days.
Article: "Perchlorate Behavior in a Municipal Lake Following Fireworks Displays"
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