FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Fireworks will fill the night sky creating a beautiful sight for a few minutes, but local health officials say the smoke will have a much longer impact.
"The air is very stagnant and the air quality is pour. So the number on the air pollution index is very high," said Dr. A.M. Aminian.
With moderate to unhealthy sensitive air quality on this Independence Day, officials with the Valley Air District are encouraging everyone not to use fireworks at home. They say fireworks increase levels of dangerous particulate matter that include soot, ash and metals which cause serious health problems.
Doctor A.M. Aminian with the Allergy Institute agrees. He says people with existing respiratory conditions, elderly and children are at a high risk. "With the stagnant air we don't a good wind to just blow them off. So the smoke stays right around where you are and if you are in the path of those smokes you are adding more the irritation."
Doctor Aminian recommends wearing a mask and to drink plenty of water because the more hydrated you are the more your body can get rid of particulate matters from your lungs. The Valley Air District recommends you see fireworks at a public venue. But several people we spoke to at a fireworks stand in Northeast Fresno say the smoke from personal fireworks is a minor inconvenience when compared to the crowds at public events.
"I'd rather have my fireworks and be able to go home with my kids and not have to pay $35s just to go in for parking and to go into a show just to go see these big old huge things that's going to cause more smoke than my sparklers," said Nicky of Fresno.
If you plan on lighting fireworks in your neighborhood Doctor Aminian says there are some things you can do to breath clean before going to bed. "So it is important that you change clothing and take a quick shower to wash everything off of you. Otherwise this stays with you all night long and you're going be inhaling the same thing."
He adds anyone who has trouble breathing should take their asthma medication or see their doctor.