It's no secret, fireworks -- as pretty as they are -- are trashy. Something you may not have considered is this: They're also toxic. Fortunately, eco geeks are on the case.
Fireworks spew out not only dust and smoke, but also heavy metals, carbon monoxide and sulfur oxides. The shades of green are produced by barium compounds that can cause heart and lung problems, according to Thomas Klaptke, a professor at University of Munich in Germany.
While fireworks are explosive and not environmentally safe to begin with, there is hope. Researchers are working to find a way to produce environmentally safe fireworks at an affordable price.
Darren Naud and Michael Hiskey decided to find a way to create eco-friendly fireworks nine years ago, when they founded DMD Systems. Since then, the company, based in Los Alamos, N.M., has created two branches of fireworks: low smoke and perchlorate-free.
Further reading: South Carolina readies for fireworks rush