From The Really? Files: Fireworks Increase Air Pollution

Maricopa County Air Quality Department officials are reminding valley residents that the use of personal fireworks can temporarily increase air pollution.

Smoke from fireworks can pose a serious health threat to children with asthma, the elderly, and those with respiratory illness. Smoke, which may also contain ash and metals, can be absorbed into the bloodstream and lessen lung function, exacerbate bronchitis and asthma, and increase chances for heart attacks and premature death.

“The use of personal fireworks can have a measureable impact on the quality of our air” Maricopa County Air Quality Director Philip McNeely said. “The commercial aerial fireworks displays you see at Tempe Town Lake or Indian Steele Park are exploded high enough above the ground not to significantly increase air pollution at the ground level. However, the use of personal fireworks in your neighborhood can cause increased air pollution and impact the air your family and neighbors breathe.”

Maricopa County Air Quality Department is encouraging residents that partake in the use of personal fireworks to use them in moderation. Fireworks have been legal in Arizona since 2014. Their use during the past three New Year’s Eves, along with the burning of wood, have caused the highest levels of air pollutants in state history.

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