Unveiling of a New Study on the Impact of Firework Shows on Air Quality

Even the biggest pyrotechnic displays presented by the Regroupement des événements pyrotechniques du Québec comply with applicable Quebec environmental standards at all times

MONTREAL, March 27, 2024 – The Regroupement des événements pyrotechniques du Québec, in collaboration with the Canadian Pyrotechnics Council, has released an independent environmental study conducted by AtkinsRealis, documenting the impact of firework shows on air quality. The results confirm that their impact is highly localized in space and time. Increases in fine particle emissions last only a few minutes and consistently meet Quebec environmental standards. This is good news for the hundreds of thousands of fans of one of the last forms of entertainment that is inclusive, festive, and, for the most part, accessible free of charge across Quebec.

“The Regroupement des événements pyrotechniques du Québec is very sensitive to citizens’ concerns regarding the impacts of firework shows. The study confirms that the impact on air quality is much more limited than one might assume,” said Sophie Emond, President of La Ronde and spokesperson for the Regroupement. “This does not prevent us from continuing our work to explore all possible solutions and reduce our impact.”

Study Results

In accordance with the official standards of the Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs (MELCCFP), historical data and the results of this study show that firework shows consistently comply with Quebec environmental standards for the quantity of fine particles (PM2.5) detected over a 24-hour period. Air quality measurements taken during events in Montreal, Quebec City, and Gatineau show that peaks in fine particle concentration are short-lived and highly localized.

The City of Montreal and its Air Quality Monitoring Network assess average data collected over a (3) three-hour period. The City of Montreal’s specific criterion (35 µg/m³) was exceeded in only two (2) measurements, each lasting only a few minutes, during the summer of 2023, and in most of the historical data.

“The study demonstrates that firework shows contribute minimally to greenhouse gas emissions,” confirms Maude Furtado, representative of the Canadian Pyrotechnic Council. “For example, for an average show organized by a member of the Regroupement, CO2 emissions are equivalent to those of one passenger on an intercity bus trip from Montreal to Trois-Rivières.”

The Regroupement reiterates its commitment to systematically and proactively comply with the recommendations of public authorities, including SOPFEU, wherever fireworks shows are planned.

Evolution of the Pyrotechnic Industry

For several years now, the Canadian pyrotechnics industry has been pursuing research and development initiatives aimed at reducing its environmental footprint.

The Regroupement will continue to take into account the concerns of the population by integrating new technologies in a complementary manner. To further reduce fine particle emissions, several shows will be limiting the quantity of pyrotechnics, shortening the duration of firework displays, and, above all, limiting the use of certain pyrotechnic products that have a greater impact on these emissions.

These advances are linked, in particular, to efforts to implement industry best practices worldwide. In addition, firework producers belonging to the Regroupement have replaced almost all plastic parts with recycled and compostable cardboard. 

Firework shows in Canada are already highly regulated, with the government authority overseeing the import and use of pyrotechnic components being recognized within the industry as one of the strictest in the world. 

Exceptional Celebrations

Firework shows remain as popular as ever and contribute to Quebec’s festive landscape. For over 40 years, Regroupement members have been brightening up celebrations across the province. 

Firework displays are among the last celebrations to be inclusive, unifying and largely free of charge, while generating substantial economic spin-offs for the community. They contribute to community joy and collective pride during celebrations, such as Quebec’s Fête nationale, Canada Day, New Year’s Eve, various festivals, and other moments of wonder.

The Regroupement is committed to continuing its efforts to reduce the impacts of firework shows in order to continue uniting communities through magical moments that transcend time and generations, in a sustainable and environmentally responsible spirit. 

About the Regroupement des événements pyrotechniques du Québec

The Regroupement des événements pyrotechniques du Québec aims to promote innovation and eco-responsible practices within large-scale firework shows in Quebec. We also aim to raise awareness among government entities, corporate partners, and the population about the importance of these events, which contribute positively to our society, thanks to their economic benefits and, above all, their capacity to create collective wonder, while minimizing our environmental impact.

The Regroupement des événements pyrotechniques du Québec consists of L’International des Feux Loto-Québec (Montreal), Grands feux Loto-Québec (Quebec City), Grands feux du Casino Lac-Leamy (Gatineau), and La Fête du Lac des Nations Inc. (Sherbrooke), as well as representatives from the Canadian Pyrotechnic Council.

About the Canadian Pyrotechnic Council

The Canadian Pyrotechnic Council was formed by industry to provide a strong and united voice to represent pyrotechnic interests in Canada. As demand for more involved Pyro displays increases, the CPC will endeavour to assist both professionals and the public in the progression of the arts safely into the future.

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