Fireworks are one of the best parts of Independence Day, but with their captivating flashes of light, it’s all too easy to be blinded to the fact that they’re also explosives that spew dust, smoke, heavy metals, carbon monoxide and other toxins into the air. And it isn’t just the environment that we should be worried about. Chemicals like lung-clogging antimony, heart-toxic Barium and body-contaminating perchlorates are all health risks associates with our favorite night sky spectacle. Luckily, scientists are currently working on developing greener fireworks – read on for some informative links that we’ve rounded up on the subject.

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According to, DMD Systems, a pyrotechnic research and development company, currently produces a line of fireworks that are perchlorate-free and contain about one-tenth the amount of barium in traditional fireworks.

Discovery News explores safer alternatives to fireworks.

Newsbusters reports on how some greenies are going as far as suing to ban toxic fireworks displays.

An eye-opening article entitled Oh No Mommy, Will the Greenies Take Fireworks Away from Us? (haha) from Treehugger.

Greenopia gives us the lowdown on their favorite eco-firework alternatives.

Image credit: d4rr3ll and Mr. Magoo ICU