16 May '11, 10am
Army Scientists Ditch Toxic Green Flares
Three scientists at the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey are developing a way to make non-toxic green signal flares , by eliminating the use of barium. Barium makes the green glow but in addition to being a toxic heavy metal, it is combined with chlorinated compounds to make the flares, so they release PCBs into the air when burned. The research is part of a broader Army project to reduce the use of hazardous materials in military pyrotechnics, which in turn is part of an overall program of reducing or eliminating hazardous materials in military operations across the board. The new flare would replace the standard M125A1 Hand-held Signal Flare among others.