Indoor Pyrotechnics-A Brief Cautionary Message

M. J. McVicar and K. L. Kosanke

The forensic science community has had a long-standing interest in the analysis of the residues deposited after the deployment of devices whose operation involves a controlled explosion. For example, testing for the residues of the compounds of lead, barium, and antimony, used in the primer of small-arms ammunitions, may be required on the hands and clothing of individuals to determine whether they may have discharged, or otherwise had contact with, a firearm. As an extension of research in the area of gunshot residue analysis, recent work dealing with the examination of residues from various pyrotechnic devices [1–3] has revealed some trends in the chemical composition of the residues of pyrotechnic devices. A survey of the composition of the starting components and residues from 150 small, consumer grade pyrotechnic devices purchased in the United States revealed that more than 30% of the devices contained some proportion of lead, 5% contained antimony, and 80%contained barium.[3] These devices included fountains, wheels, and ground spinners that are likely to be used in family fireworks displays in close proximity to the spectators.

Ref: Selected Pyrotechnic Publication of K.L. and B.J Kosanke, Part 7, (2003-2004), pp 90-91

© Journal of Pyrotechnics and CarnDu Ltd

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