2.G(a) - Fireworks

Short description

In this sub-category of 2.G(a) - Other product use: Fireworks Germany reports NOx, SOx, CO, TSP, PM10, PM2.5, Cu, Pb and Zn emissions from fireworks.

NFR-Code Name of Category Method AD EF
2.G(a) Other Product use: Fireworks CS NS and association D, CS


In 2019, measurements were made by a Finnish laboratory for the VPI – Verband der pyrotechnischen Industrie (Association of the pyrotechnical industry) of dust emissions during the burning of fire works. The experiments were made in a container in which the whole fireworks were burned.

In 2020, VPI and UBA had an intensive information exchange, in which the VPI presented the results of the measurements to the UBA. The different emission factors were discussed and finally based on the expert judgement it was decided which EFs shall be used for the reporting. In the next step the activity data were updated more differentiated. More detailed information about the revised methodology for the calculation of fine particulate emissions from firework is published in the professional journal “Gefahrstoffe” 1).

Furthermore, the other EFs have been discussed resultung in some changes to these values.

The results are presented below. In February 2021 the VPI has published an article in the paper “Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics” a description of the experiment together with the measurement results2).

Activity data

For the calculation of the activity data the following formula is used:

AD = production + import – export – disposal + returnprevious year – returnrecent year

The production, disposal, return from the year before and return of the year data are yearly updated by the VPI.

Import and export: For the import and export data statistical data from the statistical federal office of Germany were taken (foreign statistics of federal office of statistics)3).

The sold amounts of fireworks have increased strongly from 1990 to 1995. From 1995 to 1997 the emissions were relatively high but decreased from 1997 to 2000. Since then, the emissions have been relatively constant with small fluctuations. As the sale of fireworks were forbidden in 2020 and 2021 due to corona restrictions the emissions strongly droped down.

Return: Amount of unsold fireworks returned to producer

Disposal: Amount of disposed unsold fireworks damaged during transport from producer to seller

Emission factors

The emission factors of SO2, CO, NOx, Cu, Pb and Zn are the Default-EFs derived from the EMEP Guidebook4), page 22, table 3-14: Tier 2 emission factor for source category 2.D.3.i, 2.G Other solvent and product use, Other, Use of Fireworks.

Table 1: Default emission factors applied, in g/t product

pollutants Default-EF
SO2 3.020
CO 7.150
NOx 260
Cu 444
Pb (till 2003) 784
Zn 260

The emission factors for PM10, PM2.5 and TSP are measured values from the VPI.

Table 2: Country-specific PM emission factors applied, in g/t product

PM10 PM2.5 TSP
New Years Eve Rest of Year New Years Eve Rest of Year New Years Eve Rest of Year
1990-2004 52.002,56 62.799,96 41.463,05 49.644,24 52.002,56 62.799,96
2005 47.509,31 72.317,11 38.129,60 57.167,68 47.509,31 72.317,11
2006 45.793,40 71.986,67 36.930,61 56.906,46 45.793,40 71.986,67
2007 45.174,65 72.071,88 36.615,74 56.973,82 45.174,65 72.071,88
2008 45.955,36 71.471,31 37.390,41 56.499,06 45.955,36 71.471,31
2009 45.701,68 70.204,58 37.132,12 55.497,69 45.701,68 70.204,58
2010 44.826,79 69.253,15 36.536,80 54.745,57 44.826,79 69.253,15
2011 44.068,30 68.877,53 36.121,87 54.448,64 44.068,30 68.877,53
2012 45.566,16 69.993,91 37.527,36 55.331,16 45.566,16 69.993,91
2013 46.098,42 67.212,39 38.026,91 53.132,33 46.098,42 67.212,39
2014 46.621,17 67.680,72 38.595,22 53.502,55 46.621,17 67.680,72
2015 47.474,24 67.313,58 39.383,93 53.212,31 47.474,24 67.313,58
2016 47.523,35 66.094,38 39.539,55 52.248,52 47.523,35 66.094,38
2017 47.853,44 65.938,58 39.907,83 52.125,36 47.853,44 65.938,58
2018 48.270,00 63.519,57 39.713,09 50.213,10 48.270,00 63.519,57
2019 48.085,00 63.217,87 40.033,58 49.974,60 48.085,00 63.217,87
2020 42.979,14 70.081 34.730,076 55.400 42.979,14 70.081
2021 51.421,30 53.130 42.704,70 42.000 51.421,30 53.130

The EMEP Guidebook offers Default-EFs for the pollutants As, Hg, Ni and Cr. But the VPI has proofed that these emissions does not occur in Germany. And the VPI has further proofed that Pb emissions does not anymore occur since 2003. See the following explanations:

As and Hg: For As and Hg the members of the VPI have confirmed that Ar and Hg are not anymore used since 1980. Since About 1980 the explosives administrative regulation (Sprengverwaltungsvorschrift) is regulating which substances are allowed to be used and As and Hg are forbidden to be used. Since 2003 the DIN EN 14035:2003 went in force, which did forbit these substances. The actual follow up norm DIN EN 15947-5 was published in February 2016 and describes the german implementation of the harmonized and in the official journal of the European union 2017, C 149/2 published norm EN 15947:2015.

Pb: As the DIN EN 14035:2003 entered into force as from 2003, which did forbid this substance, there are no Pb-emissions from fireworks from 2003 onwards. The actual follow up norm DIN EN 15947-5 was published in February 2016 and describes the german implementation of the harmonized and in the official journal of the European union 2017, C 149/2 published norm EN 15947:2015.

Cd: The members of the VPI were asked and did explain, that Cd was never used, because it has no pyrotechnical effect. Since 2013 Cd is on the candidates list of the substances of Very High Concern (SVHC), published according article 59, para. 10 of the REACH-ordinance.

Ni: The members of the VPI informed that Ni was never used, because it has no pyrotechnical effect. It is part of the harmonized assessment according the ordinance (EG) Nr. 1272/2008 (CLP). Belonging to this, it is assessed as cancerogen category 2.

Cr: According the information from the members of the VPI Cr is not anymore used since the beginning of the 1980. Since 2012 (REACH Annex XIV (Ordinance (EU) Nr. 125/2012) Cr was implemented in the REACH Annex XIV. So from that year a permission duty is necessary. So far, none of the fireworks producers has requested for a permission.


The uncertainty for the AD is given as 10%.


With activity data and emission factors remaining unrevised, no recalculations were carried out compared to Submission 2022.

Planned improvements

No improvements are planned.

1) U. Dauert, F. Keller, S. Kessinger, D. Kuntze, C.Schragen: Feinstaubemissionen aus Feuerwerk zu Silvester und deren Einfluss auf die Luftqualität. Gefahrstoffe 82 (2002) No.1&2, p. 5-22
4) EMEP/EEA, 2019: EMEP/EEA air pollutant emission inventory guidebook 2019, Copenhagen, 2019.