Air officials say fireworks bring hazardous conditions during Fourth of July celebrations

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -  

People around Kern County are preparing to watch that big show in the sky. Several events celebrating the Fourth of July holiday are planned and with it come a big concern from health officials.

Stands are popping up through out Kern County and helping families celebrate the fourth of July.   Air officials say fireworks can pose a big threat to the air we breathe.

“Fireworks create particulate pollution and ozone precursors. They pollute the air and that makes it difficult for some people in the valley, particularly those with repertory conditions so, every year we appeal to stop and think before they light fireworks,” said Janelle Schneider, outreach representative with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

The fine particulate matter they say invades the bloodstream and has been linked to heart attacks and strokes.

Leaders with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District say even short-term exposure to smoke coming from the fireworks can aggravate respiratory problems like asthma and acute bronchitis.

Officials say high levels of the matter may also cause problems with meeting air-quality standards set to protect public health.

“Typically we see big spikes that coincide with the hours that people are doing fireworks every Fourth of July so, in the late evening hours the levels of particulates can go from minimal up to unhealthy,” she said.

Because fireworks emissions add to what already may be poor air quality, experts recommend heading to community-wide displays instead of having to set off fireworks in your own backyard.

With extra hot and dry conditions this year, Bakersfield Police and city firefighters will be cracking down on illegal fireworks within city limits.

You may contact Bakersfield Police or city fire for any illegal fireworks activity between July 3 and July 5th.

The number is 868-6070.

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Carlos is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carloscorrea23abc

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