4th of July Fireworks May Impact Air Quality

Published 6/29/2022 7:08:57 AM

These fireworks displays provide brilliant light shows each Independence Day, but they also cause spikes in air pollution levels that may affect the health of some individuals. The Polk County Air Quality Division has noticed elevated levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution at some of its monitoring stations during previous Independence Days celebrations.

Under the right meteorological conditions, the emissions from fireworks displays can be trapped near the ground and build up to unhealthful levels. The smoke from fireworks displays generally dissipates within a few hours, but individuals with asthma or other respiratory conditions may be impacted during that time. Fireworks smoke is made of small dust particles and other pollutants that can aggravate respiratory diseases.

  • People who are susceptible to air pollution should view these displays from a safe distance or from a vantage point upwind of the fireworks and take precautions to reduce their exposure.

Polk County encourages all residents to have a fun, but safe and healthful, 4th of July Holiday.

Learn more about the harmful effects of particulate matter from EPA.