What are Party Poppers?

  • Party poppers work akin to the popping of a champagne bottle. Sometimes they are shaped like bottles but, in most instancs, it is a sealed cardboard case, about as big as a rolled-up newspaper, and stuffed with shredded paper and glitter. Pulling an attached string sets of a mild, chemical explosive, which ‘pops’ open the case and releases a confetti of coloured paper and fine glitter.
  • There have been reports of injury, even in India, when party poppers have exploded and caused eye injuries.
  • Armstrong’s mixture, which consists of red phosphorus, potassium chlorate, potassium perchlorate and sulphur is used to create the explosive. Very small quantities — less than a 1000th of a gram — is used in poppers.
  • It is observed that the plastic glittering material and the other charge chemicals, which are generally low-intensity explosive, often composed of red-phosphorous, potassium chlorate and potassium perchlorate, are harmful to human health and environment. They get mixed with food items and may cause severe eye trauma or facial injuries.


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