Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Ultra-fine particles in air pollution and evaluation of potential health impacts due to fireworks

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.08.00  Medical sciences  Public health (occupational safety)   

Code Science Field
B680  Biomedical sciences  Public health, epidemiology 

Code Science Field
3.03  Medical and Health Sciences  Health sciences 
Ultra-fine particles, air, fireworks, pyrotechnic devices, exposure, health, Parma Declaration, REACH
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (7)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  05373  PhD Ivan Eržen  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2016 - 2017  675 
2.  30713  PhD Jerneja Farkaš-Lainščak  Medical sciences  Head  2016 - 2017  408 
3.  08073  PhD Viviana Golja  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2016 - 2017  140 
4.  30640  PhD Andreja Kukec  Medical sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2017  377 
5.  33512  Uroš Lešnik  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2016 - 2017  137 
6.  12326  MSc Benjamin Lukan  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2016 - 2017  225 
7.  19946  PhD Agnes Šomen Joksič  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2016 - 2017  195 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  3333  National Institut of Public Health  Ljubljana  6462642  18,737 
2.  3334  National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Foodstaffs  Maribor  6489087  4,660 
There is increasing epidemiological evidence on the link between short-term exposure to ultra-fine particles or nanoparticles and cardiorespiratory health and the health of the nervous system. Fireworks contribute to the overall contamination of air with ultra-fine particles. In order to achieve various effects and colors, manufacturers of the pyrotechnic product or fireworks use various chemicals such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium, lead, magnesium, aluminum, silicon, iron, copper, barium, sodium, molybdenum. During explosion of pyrotechnic articles, gaseous reaction products and ultra-fine particles resulting from the reaction with oxygen or the reaction between components of explosives are violently released into the air. The project will assess the exposure to ultra-fine particles, which are created as a result of fireworks. We will try to estimate the link between air pollution with ultra-fine particles at a time when the fireworks are the most common and the possible implications for health. The information obtained will then be used to raise public awareness on the increased exposure to ultra-fine particles during the fireworks and to health consequences of such exposure. Thus we will support the European chemicals legislation REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals), which is based on research of exposure to substances in the environment, and the implementation of Parma Declaration on Environment and Health (WHO, 2010) and the Action Plan for the implementation of the Strategy of Health of children and adolescents in relation to the environment from 2012 to 2020 (Government of the Republic of Slovenia, July 2015). The results, obtained in the framework of the project will be the basis for the measures needed to reduce the "new risks" caused by the ultra-fine particles and to adopt effective measures needed to improve public health. The results will also help to focus public attention on environmental risk, which is at the moment overlooked – to the risk of exposure to ultra-fine particles originating from the use of fireworks and pyrotechnic devices.
Significance for science
Due to their different properties in comparison to the particles of larger dimensions (eg. PM10), ultrafine particles have different impact on health. Epidemiological studies have shown the effects of ultra-fine particles on respiratory system, cardiovascular system, nervous and immune system, to embryonic development, DNA damage. Ultra-fine particles can pose specific risk to children, adolescents, pregnant women, the elderly and patients with respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. In general, very little is known about the potential risks originating from human exposure to ultra-fine particles, which are created as a result of fireworks. This project will contribute significantly to the clarification and definition of the link between air pollution and ultra-fine particles and potential health effects. We are planning to publish the results of research in the context of at least one scientific paper in the journal with high impact factor and present the outcomes at prestigious scientific meetings, thereby achieving a wide range of interested parties. The results will be presented in the form of a report, as required, to the regulatory authorities.
Significance for the country
Control of air pollution (environment in general) and reducing of the burden of diseases related to air pollution, is also crucial from an economic point of view. Various experiences in the world show that the relevant regulations regarding the environment and protecting human health is beneficiary to business investment in general, and that a cleaner environment goes hand in hand with a growing economy. It is expected that the project results will contribute to the preparation of relevant measures, guidelines, directives / regulations at national, European and global level, thereby contributing to the protection of the environment and public health. Reducing air pollution means less disease and fewer premature deaths on the one hand, and on the other hand this means longer and better quality of life, lower health treatment costs, fewer school absences, and improved worker productivity. Overall, the project results will represent an important contribution to the promotion of market opportunities and innovations for cleaner, more competitive technologies.
Most important scientific results Final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Final report
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