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Fireworks May Cause Unhealthy Air Quality, Agency Says

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A fireworks show at the Santa Monica Pier in 2009 | Photo by karlo via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

A fireworks show at the Santa Monica Pier in 2009 | Photo by karlo via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
The organization charged with monitoring air quality in parts of Southern California warned that some areas may suffer Sunday evening and on Monday due to fireworks. The South Coast Air Quality Management District says firework emissions are expected to release particulate matter into the air, adding to the fine particles already present due to vehicle emissions.

"To help reduce exposure to smoke from fireworks, try to stay upwind from the smoke while enjoying fireworks," the agency said in a news release. "People in the plume of smoke may experience some eye, ear or throat irritation, but no long term health effects are expected to occur from brief periods of exposure to smoke from fireworks."

When area air quality reaches an "unhealthy" status, people should discontinue prolonged, vigorous outdoor exercise lasting longer than one hour, the agency said. A lesser status, "unhealthy for sensitive groups," means sensitive or susceptible persons, such as those with heart or lung disease, should minimize outdoor activity.