Fireworks, Health and Air Quality

Some people may not like to hear it or want to go without fireworks to celebrate the 4th and 24th of July, but these pyrotechnic displays also produce high concentrations of smoke and particulates (PM) that can harm our air quality and pose a risk to individuals who are sensitive to particulate pollution.

To anyone who thinks concern about fireworks is unnecessary alarmism, note that the Utah DEQ takes it seriously and we provided a link to their page on it it yesterday. For thorough article on why fireworks are a real health hazard please read this article.

Fireworks smoke is largely composed of two types of particulate matter: course particulates (PM10) and fine particulates (PM2.5). Toxic compounds can also be found in perchlorate remnants, sulfur and potassium in the gunpowder that powers, and heavy metals that provide color.

Division of Air Quality (DAQ) monitors consistently show extremely high short-term concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 associated with fireworks. In fact, Ogden City’s worst air day doesn’t occur in the winter — it happens on July 4, when particulate concentrations can jump to 20 times higher than normal. [Read More]

UPHE encourages you to find cleaner, safer ways to enjoy summer and winter holidays. Please consider opting out of buying and lighting fireworks this year for the health and well being of your community and environment.