While it may be intuitive that smoke from fireworks are not good for your lungs, few people realize just how bad those chemicals are. 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.
The good news is that you can check particulate matter levels anytime on the Coalition for Clean Air 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. Although it was set up as a tool for schools, the Know Your Air Network is an excellent way to get real-time information on the latest air quality in their neighborhood.
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Coalition for Clean Air