Valley Air District officials warn of health impact from fireworks

As the Fourth of July approaches, Valley Air District officials urge residents to consider the effect of fireworks on their neighbors’ health and the Valley’s economy.

During fireworks displays, dangerous particulate matter (PM) increases, pumping large quantities of airborne material, including soot, ash and liquids, into the Valley’s air, the district said in a news release. This type of pollution causes serious health effects, including respiratory disease, bronchitis and cardiac illness. PM is especially harmful to people with existing respiratory or cardiac illness, elderly people and children, according to the release.

Elevated levels of PM also jeopardize the air basin’s progress in meeting federal health-based standards, which creates economic burdens for the Valley. the news release continued.

“Fireworks use is harmful to public health. And it also carries potential economic fallout as an obstacle to attaining health-based standards,” said Seyed Sadredin, the District’s executive director and air pollution control officer.

In summer, the Valley’s air can be already stressed by ozone (smog). Fireworks emissions add to the level of pollution in the air, the news release said.

For more information about the Valley Air District, call a regional office: in Fresno, 559-230-6000; in Bakersfield, 661-392-5500; and in Modesto, 209-557-6400.