Virginia Tech researchers highlight danger of firework projectiles toward eyes

Fireworks lab test

July 3, 2012 – BLACKSBURG, Va., July 3, 2012 – Just in time for the July Fourth holiday, Virginia Tech College of Engineering researchers have published a study that shines a new spotlight on the dangers of fireworks on the human eye, that projectiles from fireworks are more likely to cause severe eye injuries than the previously believed culprit blast overpressure.

The study, released July 3 and published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, reinforces why states that have passed laws restricting firework projectiles observe fewer fireworks-related eye injuries.

“This is the first time anyone has quantified the pressures and it illustrates that projectiles are the problem,” said Stefan Duma, Virginia Tech professor of biomedical engineering and head of the Virginia Tech–Wake Forrest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, and one of the leaders of the study.