Unhealthy air quality expected during Fourth of July, experts say


Kern County’s air quality is burdened by ozone pollution and San Joaquin Valley Air District officials say fireworks emissions add to what’s already usually very poor air quality around this time of the year. 

On July 4, 2017, the levels of dangerous particulate matter drastically increased during the hours of 9 p.m. and midnight, often four to five times higher than the health-based federal standards.

Raised levels of particulate matter can cause serious health impacts, especially to individuals with existing respiratory conditions, elderly people and small children, according to health officials. 

“If Valley residents feel the need to enjoy fireworks, we urge them to exhibit their patriotism by attending a professional Independence Day event in their area instead of using personal fireworks,” said Samir Sheikh, the District’s Deputy Air Pollution Control Officer. “Each year, people suffer serious health consequences from direct exposure in the neighborhoods where they live and breathe… from firework activities that are entirely preventable.”

For Independence Day events where fireworks are professionally organized, click here.

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