Evaluation of Eye Injury Risk from Consumer Fireworks


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Brain Injuries and Biomechanics Symposium


Eye injuries affect approximately two million people annually. Various experimental studies have been performed to evaluate potentially injurious conditions from blunt objects using animal and human cadaver eyes. Experimental data from these studies have been used to develop injury risk curves to predict eye injuries based on projectile parameters such as kinetic energy and normalized energy. Recently, intraocular pressure (IOP) has been correlated to injury risk, which allows eye injuries to be predicted if projectile characteristics are unknown. Additionally, the measurement of IOP and the association of IOP to injury risk in experimental tests has opened up the field to studying eye injury mechanisms from overpressure. The current manuscript presents recent experimental tests that evaluated the response of human cadaver eyes exposed to firework overpressure. Consumer fireworks serve as a model of low level blast, and provides a foundation to studying higher blast overpressures (i.e., that would be observed in military combat). Although some studies state that eye injury can result solely from primary blast (overpressure), there is no empirical evidence in the literature to support this. Future experimental studies should be conducted to assess this statement.



Firework, Pressure, Eye, Injury, Risk


Alphonse VD, Kemper AR, “Evaluation of Eye Injury Risk from Consumer Fireworks,” Brain Injuries and Biomechanics Symposium, Washington DC, April 3, 2013.