How 4th of July fireworks can impact Valley air quality

Brisa Colon Image
Wednesday, July 3, 2024
How 4th of July fireworks can impact Valley air quality
How 4th of July fireworks can impact Valley air quality

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Smoke from fireworks takes over the air each Fourth of July.

On the ground, legal fireworks fill neighborhoods. Illegal ones fill the sky.

With each pop, chemicals and pollutants are sprung into the air, including soot, ash and metals used to create the colors and designs.

"Even a single night of fireworks can be a real hazard to people that have pre-existing diseases with their lungs," says Dr. Rais Vohra.

Each Fourth, pollutants in the air spike to four, even five times the allowable limit for federal health standards..

Often, it's a no-brainer these levels impact the most vulnerable. But officials say that no one is immune.

"Even the most healthy individuals might wake up onto July 5 wondering why they feel like they have a cold, a little bit of a scratchy throat, maybe a slight headache because they've been exposed to particulate matter in pollution," says Heather Heinks with the Valley Air District.

Heinks says poor air quality usually lasts into the overnight hours and through the next morning.

That's why closing your doors and windows, using air purifiers and even wearning an N-95 mask is advised.

The Valley Air District is encouraging the public to enjoy air-quality friendly events.

The district is even sponsoring dozens of alternative options, like drone shows across the region.

"There are lots of ways that you can celebrate the Fourth without contributing pollution to your neighbors and the community," Heinks said.

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