While it may be intuitive that smoke from fireworks are not good for your lungs, few people realize just how bad those chemicals are. In a tweet that went viral in 2019, we demonstrated how quickly air quality declines once the sun goes down on Independence Day.
While most folks may think of fireworks through the lens of particulate matter, these particles include lots of nasty chemicals: To achieve their colors, metals such as copper, strontium, lithium, barium, and perchlorate are all used; these chemicals are also found in batteries and rat poison. Illegal fireworks are not any better as they are known to contain lead, manganese, nickel, and chromium.
These harmful metallic particles remain in the atmosphere surrounding the area and are small enough to be inhaled deep within the lungs. In communities like
Maywood, where we are working with local community partners, these chemicals exacerbate an already challenging situation.
The good news is that you can check particulate matter levels anytime on our website and much like wildfires, there are things you can do to protect your health and improve air quality in your community. You can also download IQ Air’s Air Visual App (Android | Apple) to get real time information wherever you may be.