The San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) encourages everyone to have an enjoyable and safe July 4 holiday. Simultaneously, the Air District officials want to remind Central Coast residents that fireworks increase levels of dangerous particulate matter (PM) and pose a health threat. July 4 fireworks can temporarily increase air pollution in local areas. The APCD advises individuals that will be near neighborhood fireworks and large fireworks displays to take appropriate cautionary measures as individual health conditions dictate.
Fireworks release large qualities of PM, such as soot, ash, and metals. During prime time for fireworks displays significant increases in levels of particulate pollution are possible, especially in areas with substantial fireworks activity and stagnant weather conditions. Although these levels may dissipate by midnight, elevated pollution concentrations can last until morning if wind conditions are stagnant. Particle pollution can cause serious health impacts, especially to people with heart or lung disease, elderly individuals, and small children. Residents should use common sense and take precautions to reduce the harmful health effects associated with increased air pollution from fireworks. These precautions are especially important for people with existing respiratory or heart conditions. If you are impacted by local air quality conditions, remain indoors as much as possible, and set the air conditioning/ventilation systems to recirculation. Consult your medical professional if you are experiencing health problems.