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Avoid areas of heavy smoke near fireworks activities and displays

WINDSOR HEIGHTS – Whether attending a spectacular Fourth of July celebration or a picnic with backyard fireworks, the aftermath of drifting smoke can cause breathing problems for some. If the air is stagnant, fine particles can be trapped near the ground and build to unhealthy levels. 

The DNR encourages sensitive individuals to stay upwind, a safe distance from fireworks smoke. People with asthma or respiratory difficulties, the elderly, children and pregnant women are most likely to suffer. 

Smoke contains fine particles and gases, which can be hard on the lungs. Fine particles in fireworks’ smoke are produced from black powder used to shoot fireworks skyward along with the metals that produce brilliant colors. 

Those unable to avoid areas of dense smoke should limit outdoor activity and contact their healthcare provider if they experience difficulty breathing. 

An air pollution monitor in Davenport recorded unhealthy levels of fine particles after Fourth of July fireworks in 2008 and 2015. Find more information about the 2008 event and fine particle pollution under Firework Displays. Learn more about Fine Particles (PM2.5) and how particle pollution can affect health. 

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