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Avoid Areas of Heavy Smoke Near Fireworks Displays

WINDSOR HEIGHTS – As spectacular as Fourth of July celebrations can be, drifting smoke following the fireworks 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 away from fireworks displays. 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 the 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 health care 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 that event and fine particle pollution at www.iowadnr.gov/neighborhoodair under the Firework Displays section. Additional information on fine particles is available at www.iowadnr.gov/airpollutants  under “Fine Particles (PM2.5).”

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