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Sodium produces yellow/gold colors, barium creates green, copper produces blue, strontium produces red and titanium produces silver-colored sparks. Other commonly used chemicals are carbon which provides fuel, oxidizers which produce oxygen for burning, magnesium which increases the brilliance/brightness, antimony that gives a glitter effect and calcium which deepens the colors.
Contributed by Sam Feldstone
Here's an interesting link from the Washington Post about some facts about fireworks injury. Fireworks are actually a lot safer than you'd think, with incidents like the latest accident in Simi Valley being the exception. In fact, most injuries sustained are usually due to...sparklers. That's right, the most harmless, silly little firework can be the most dangerous. That's why parents are reminded to watch young children when they play with sparklers...and don't swordfight with them!
Contributed by Bridget LaMonica