Agilent Analyzes the Safety of Fireworks

This weekend, millions of Americans will watch and launch fireworks displays in celebration of the country’s Fourth of July Independence Day.  Have you ever wondered whether these explosives pose any danger to the environment?  Agilent is on the job!

From America to Europe to Asia, Agilent equipment is used to measure the quality of air and water following local fireworks displays.  Fireworks can emit carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, fine particles and other organic and inorganic pollutants into the environment.  Of particular concern is perchlorate, a propellant used in rockets, missiles and fireworks.  Perchlorate is a regulated contaminant that can affect thyroid function, and is especially dangerous if it enters drinking water supplies.

Agilent has developed highly sensitive and reliable liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry methods for detecting and quantitating perchlorate in drinking water.  The good news is that while perchlorate may temporarily accumulate in surface water following fireworks displays, it quickly dissipates and decreases to acceptable health levels.


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