Air Official, Doctors Urge July 4th Fireworks Restraint for Smoke Concerns

News

The Fourth of July holiday is just a few hours away, and that means lots of firework displays. But, the Valley Air Pollution Control District is asking folks not to light up any fireworks. They said Tuesday will be a very unhealthy day for people to breathe.

The Air District said on Monday that the air quality was moderate to unhealthy, especially for those with breathing problems. But officials said once all the fireworks go off on Tuesday, it will be four to five times worse. They said that means it will be unhealthy for everyone.

Cassandra Melching with the Air District said the Valley already has high levels of ozone because of the hot weather, and the smoke from nearby wildfires, “And then when you add fireworks onto that. They emit particulate matter which are these teeny tiny little particles that are extremely dangerous.”

Melching said the particulate matter can get into your blood stream and your lungs. She said in extreme cases that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. The Air District is asking people not to light their own fireworks, rather to go see a professional show.

“The professional shows that are done, they go higher up in the air, so it’s more aloft. Yes, it still causes a problem because what goes up eventually comes back down, so that still poses a risk,” stated Melching.

Allergist Dr. A.M. Aminian is with the Allergy Institute in Fresno. He said you’ll know you’re in respiratory trouble if, “The very first thing that you may notice you have an eye burning sensation… You have a harder time to breathe, you have to take deeper breaths, and even if you have a chest tightness like someone is sitting on your chest.”

Both Melching and Aminian said they understand it’s a lot to ask people to not be outside on July Fourth, but they said it’s best for breathing and overall health.

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