Personal fireworks elevate pollution and threaten public health

(Photo by Ron Sundquist)

June 28, 2023 – San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District urges Valley residents to celebrate 4th of July safely

Air District officials are cautioning Valley residents that personal fireworks emit high levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), including soot, ash and metals, which can cause serious health effects.

Individuals most at-risk are small children, the elderly and people with existing respiratory conditions.

“We are asking Valley residents to be mindful and considerate of their neighbors and the many sensitive individuals whose health may be impacted by the emissions that come from lighting personal fireworks,” said Samir Sheikh, San Joaquin Valley Air District Executive Director/APCO.

Many Fourth of July celebrations and public fireworks displays are once again taking place throughout the San Joaquin Valley.

The District suggests taking advantage of professional, community fireworks shows as a safer and more spectacular source of Independence Day entertainment.

Each Fourth of July, air monitors across the Valley reflect spikes in PM2.5 concentrations from fireworks, often four to five times higher than the health-based federal standard, and typically during evening hours, when personal fireworks are most in use.

This unnecessary source of air pollution compromises air quality and public health.

Fine particulate matter can invade the bloodstream, get deep into the lungs, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

This infographic illustrates how fireworks can negatively impact your health.

The District’s Real-time Air Advisory Network (RAAN) provides access to localized air quality data from an extensive air-monitoring network.

Visit and input any address in the San Joaquin Valley.

For more information about the Air District, call a regional office in Fresno (559) 230-6000, Modesto (209) 557-6400 or Bakersfield (661) 392-5500.

PM 2.5 pattern on July 4, 2022

This graph illustrates a spike in particulate levels on July 4, 2022 in the City of Fresno.