The Division on Air Quality would like to help Utah residents celebrate safely by reminding everyone of the potential for high concentrations of smoke associated with fireworks displays.
This smoke is largely particulate matter (PM). In prior years, DAQ has monitored extremely high concentrations of both PM10 and PM2.5 (the fine and the very fine fractions of PM) associated with fireworks displays. It is highly likely again this year that there will be areas around town where there are high concentrations of PM emissions due to fireworks displays.
These areas would include not only the locations of professional displays put on by municipalities or other associations, but also areas surrounding smaller gatherings of neighborhoods or families celebrating these important holidays with displays of their own.
Those most affected are the young, the elderly, and those sensitive individuals with respiratory conditions.
Short-term exposures to PM (hours or days) can aggravate lung disease, causing asthma attacks and acute bronchitis, and may also increase susceptibility to respiratory infections. In people with heart disease, short-term exposures have been linked to heart attacks and arrhythmias. Learn more about the health impacts of PM.
DAQ is recommending that those individuals who might find these celebrations more troublesome than fun avoid such areas directly, or at least view them from a safe distance. It is also recommended that those who are particularly sensitive stay indoors (especially during the evening) and close the windows so that indoor air is not affected.
- Press Release: Fireworks and Wildfires Impact Utah’s Summer Air Quality (07/02/14)