RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Southern California regulators have issued an air-quality advisory for Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties Saturday and Sunday due to fireworks expected over Fourth of July weekend.
“Fireworks are known to emit high levels of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) as well as metal air pollutants, all of which can contribute to negative health effects,” according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District. “In fact, the Fourth of July holiday is typically among the worst days of the year for fine particulate matter in the South Coast Air Basin. The Air Quality Index (AQI) may reach the Very Unhealthy air quality category or higher, due to fireworks related to Independence Day. Personal exposure to `backyard’ fireworks can create local fine particulate matter and further increase how much air pollution a person is breathing.”
“Breathing of fine particulate matter can lead to a wide variety of cardiovascular and respiratory health effects,” the AQMD statement said. “Those with heart or lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk and should consider reducing or avoiding outdoor physical activity, and prolonged or heavy exertion.”
Lighting fireworks is illegal in Riverside County except in a few Coachella Valley locations, but officials have noted an increase in illegal use in recent weeks.
For air quality maps and forecasts, visit www.aqmd.gov/home/air-quality.