Drop in air quality due to fireworks

FRESNO, Calif.

As soon as folks around the valley started lighting up those fireworks around 6-7 o'clock the air became extremely unhealthy.

Most everyone loves the sight of fireworks lighting up the night sky but for many people, like 12-year-old Emma Day, Fourth of July celebrations only worsen her allergies and respiratory problems.

"Typically the day after the holidays we get a surge of people coming in here because over the weekend they've done all these activities then they come in with respiratory problems," Dr. A.M. Aminian said.

The main culprit is smoke from fireworks and barbecues that send a sudden and increased amount of particulate matter into the air.

"Particulte matter levels just skyrocket. They went from being in the green or good healthy range to being in the red or unhealthy range-- in some places it even went up to the purple range which is very unhealthy," Jaime Holt said.

Jaime Holt with the air pollution control district says the dramatic change in our air quality happened sunday night within an hour and its very likely the effects will linger for several days.

"We anticipate that with the particulate matter that is in the air from July 4th, the increasing heat that we'll see through the week, that we'll probably have some unhealthy days ahead of us," Dr. Aminian said.

Doctor Aminian recommends drinking plenty of water and avoiding any strenuous outdoor activity.

"By trying to get more oxygen, you get more of these harmful particulate matters in your lungs that will both irritate your bronchial tubes and contributes to more infections and difficulty breathing."

One good thing is that we have a bit of breeze right now but nonetheless, caution is recommended these next few days, because while pollution will try to dissipate, ozone levels will creep up again because of residual particulate matter in the air.

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