EG is a specialist in making coloured smoke for a whole range of purposes. From survival devices, right across the industrial & leisure industry, as well as movie production.
Smoke has a bad name, and in most cases, smoke is seen as ‘not good’.
This page is an honest assessment of our products and procedures to assess where we sit in the modern world.
Part of our mission is to supply our products to industries that have traditionally burnt fossil fuels or toxic materials to obtain smoke effects.
These vary from special effects in film and theatre, to training aids for the professional services and various leak identification uses in the industrial sector.
Everything you do and touch has (and will continue to have) an impact on the environment.
We are, of course, no different and as a responsible manufacturer we take this extremely seriously.
We continue to study the effects of everything we do as we develop new designs and formulas.
At the same time, we also endeavour to be as transparent as commercially possible.
Manufacturing is a complicated matter, but let’s start by breaking down the main factors that can be a challenge to the environment.
There are many facets to manufacturing a product; starting from the most topical, that is CO2 emissions, through to air quality and biodegradation.
It’s important to understand that as a coloured smoke manufacturer we deliberately maximise environmental visibility, whereas other industries can easily hide and ignore emissions.
Our smokes emit only very small amounts of CO2.
We cannot find any indication that our products produce any significant levels of CO2 that should be of concern.
Our smoke compositions do not require oxygen to burn, that’s why they keep on smoking even when submerged in water, unlike fossil fuels that are a complex mix of hydrocarbons that require oxygen for combustion.
Everything, of course, has some sort of carbon footprint, including the phone that you’re probably reading this on.
If you are reading this in a petrol or diesel car that is ticking over right now, then you may even be taken aback by the following.
Using petrol / gasoline as an example:
1 litre of petrol that weighs in at around 720 grams will produce approximately 3 times as much weight in CO2 when burnt.
Your 720g of fuel (which won’t last that long!) is now 2200g of CO2 – you may want to turn your engine off if you’re stuck at a red light.
Conveniently it’s invisible, but imagine if our exhaust emissions were colored so you could see exactly what is being produced.
It would create a pretty big cloud of smoke – would this make you think twice about driving?
Compare this with our most popular product, the WP40, that contains approximately 40g of composition.
This is not much at all to produce such a huge cloud of smoke.
To put that into perspective, we believe the CO2 produced from this would be the equivalent of a typical idling engine for around 15 seconds.
The WP40 produces roughly 8g of CO2. A car idling produces around 1.8Kg per hour, so 30g a minute.
Can You Breathe the Smoke?
You shouldn’t breathe any smoke, that’s just a general rule of life!
You should always try and avoid inhalation which is always easy with our highly visible, brightly coloured smoke.
If you do happen to inhale a significant amount of it, there is no evidence or data to suggest that it will cause any harm other than the potential for some mild irritation and coughing.
All the dyes used are non-toxic and non-carcinogenic and, when produced into a smoke cloud they become tiny particles which ultimately fall to the ground.
There are a list of advisories and rules that come with all EG smoke, number one being that you should never use it in crowded areas that would inhibit another person to be able to move away from the effect.
This is exactly why we monitor supply and only sell to responsible customers, and do not condone the use of our smoke within the crowd at football or sports stadiums.
Replacing Toxic or Other Environmentally Hazardous Artificial Smoke Types
Over the years we have developed smoke for many reasons and the uses have become more and more varied.
We are keen to offer safer alternatives to the toxic smoke generated by fire crews in their training.
There are limited options available for these crews to use in this essential part of their training.
EG smoke is cleaner and produces far less CO2 and other dangerous gases than the burning of foam boards, pallets or other combustible materials that are often used.
This was also very much the case in the film industry until we were able to provide affordable and neatly packaged alternatives for budgeted productions.
Sure, pyrotechnic smoke existed before but it was expensive, bespoke and not exactly environmentally friendly!
We have been actively removing as many plastic parts from our product lines as possible since 2015; our main commercial product lines are now mostly (99.5%) made from fully biodegradable materials.
Removing plastic from products is an expensive business and it takes time to redesign products so that they remain safe and reliable.
When we first started removing the plastics, we found the cost of replacing them with biodegradable parts (typically paper/cardboard) would be at least double the cost.
It was an easy decision for us as it is the right thing to do. We are a small company with core values and no shareholders to answer to.
A few years back all of our smokes were packaged with a plastic safety cap; you can still see this design from companies that have tried to copy our products. We took the decision to replace this with cardboard box packaging.
A change in packaging is essentially a change in design and new approvals have to be registered worldwide.
We now have this as standard for nearly all our products.
We considered a bio-plastic cap instead, but after meeting with many manufacturers, we found that many of these bio-plastic products do not break down fully and actually create micro plastics which can ultimately get into the food chain.
We are continuing to research this area of material use as improvements will inevitably be made.
All of our environmental changes are absorbed by the company and are not added to the product cost or passed onto the customer.
Reducing Materials and Waste
You may have noticed that, on many of our new product lines, the smoke units have been getting significantly smaller.
This is not EG short-changing customers by secretly reducing the amount of smoke you get from our products but a deliberate move to give everyone more choice for the amount of smoke they require.
Previously our smallest unit was still pretty big and, should you only need a small effect, much of the unit is wasted.
The option of smaller smokes means that materials and waste can be reduced.