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Fireworks: About as Pretty as Harmful to the Air Quality | Health

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Fireworks: About as Pretty as Harmful to the Air Quality
Fireworks: About as Pretty as Harmful to the Air Quality

As the Fourth of July approaches, Valley Air District officials are urging Valley residents to consider the effect of fireworks on their own and their neighbors’ health.

Fireworks emit large quantities of dangerous particulate matter (PM), pumping airborne material including soot, ash and metals in the Valley’s air.

This type of pollution causes serious health effects, including lung infections, bronchitis and cardiac illness. People with existing respiratory conditions, elderly people and small children are especially susceptible.

The increase in particulate matter also jeopardizes the Valley’s progress in meeting health-based air-quality standards.

“Celebrating our freedom also means recognizing that our actions directly impact the health of our communities,” said Jaime Holt, the Air District’s Chief Communications Officer. “The sad thing is, the serious health impacts that many people suffer from this activity are entirely preventable.”

During summer, the Valley’s air may already be stressed by pollution, specifically, ozone. Fireworks add another burden to what may be already precarious air quality. In fact, monitors throughout the Air District regularly capture readings of high spikes in PM during and after fireworks displays (see attached graphic).

“We wish a happy and healthy Independence Day for all our Valley neighbors,” Holt said.

For more information about the Valley Air District, call 559-230-6000.

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