Archive for December 2011

A proposal to quantify trace levels of hexachlorobenzene in fireworks

Tom Smith and Martin Guest

Abstract: Hexachlorobenzene, a persistent organic pollutant, may be present in firework compositions from four sources.  This paper makes a proposal to determine what “trace” quantities of hexachlorobenzene may be found in firework compositions, particularly those originating in the Far East where HCB usage was common and contamination still exists.  Proposals are made to discriminate between deliberate use of HCB as an additive in firework compositions, as a deliberate “let down” agent in other colour enhancers and as an unintended trace contaminant.
We propose a cut-off limit of 50 ppm in a coloured star composition at which level analysis can conclude that the HCB has not been added deliberately.
Furthermore the destruction of HCB in the normal functioning of the fireworks is considered and shown to reduce any residual amounts of HCB to extremely low levels.
Keywords: HCB, Hexachlorobenzene, contamination

Ref: JPyro, Issue 30, 2011, pp28-35

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