Personal fireworks increase pollution and endanger public health

Valley Air District urges residents to celebrate the 4th of July safely and responsibly

 Valley Air District officials are cautioning the public that personal fireworks emit high levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), including soot, ash and metals, which can cause serious health effects. Individuals most at-risk are small children, the elderly and people with existing respiratory conditions. In addition to the air quality impacts, firework use poses significant safety and noise pollution concerns, with the potential for injuries, burns, accidents, and stress for wildlife, pets, and residents.

“We are asking Valley residents to be mindful and considerate of their neighbors and the many sensitive individuals whose health and safety may be impacted by the emissions that come from lighting personal fireworks,” said Samir Sheikh, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Executive Director/APCO.

Many 4th of July celebrations and public fireworks displays are once again taking place throughout the San Joaquin Valley. The Valley Air District suggests taking advantage of professional, community fireworks shows as a safer and more spectacular source of Independence Day entertainment.

To encourage safer, air-quality friendly events this 4th of July, the Valley Air District funded several drone light shows across the Valley through the Clean Alternatives to Fireworks Pilot Incentive Program. Drone light shows use a fleet of drones equipped with vibrant LED lights to form patterns, shapes, and animations in the sky. These shows serve as a contemporary alternative to traditional fireworks displays, offering a unique, customizable, and zero-emission form of entertainment.

Each 4th of July, air monitors across the Valley reflect spikes in PM2.5 concentrations from fireworks, often four to five times higher than the health-based federal standard, and typically during evening hours, when personal fireworks are most in use. This unnecessary source of air pollution compromises air quality and public health. Fine particulate matter can invade the bloodstream, get deep into the lungs, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. This infographic illustrates how fireworks can negatively impact your health.

The Valley Air District’s Real-time Air Advisory Network (RAAN) provides access to localized air quality data from an extensive air-monitoring network. Visit and input any address in the San Joaquin Valley.

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

3 thoughts on “Personal fireworks increase pollution and endanger public health

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  1. Thank you SJVAPCD! More drone shows everywhere, please. We deserve good air in the Valley!

  2. Actually, we should suspend all individual rights! Maybe that would make liberals happy. No, actually we should allow women the unbridled right to kill their unborn for any reason or no reason.

  3. Truth is every time you drive a motor vehicle you emit pollution. But your pollution is politically correct. Right?

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