Every year is seems like there is another reason to not like fireworks. And I’m OK with that.

Now one of the concerns is smoke.

While fireworks can be fun to watch, the environmental hazards keep growing. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

“Fireworks can cause unhealthy spikes in air pollution. Smoke from exploding fireworks results in elevated levels of particulate matter close to the ground, making it difficult for people to breathe, and may trigger asthma attacks, coughing, wheezing and eye irritation,” the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said in a press release.

And it’s not just human affected. Pets and wildlife are breathing that same air.

A study from 2015 said fine particulate pollutants in the air increased more than 40 percent after a fireworks performance. That’s the stuff people inhale. Air quality isn’t back to “normal” until the afternoon of the next day.

Anyone living in California (and this year the East Coast) knows the dangers of wildfire smoke. That fine particulate matter we breath can lead to immediate and long term respiratory problems.

While we see the smoke coming off a fireworks display, it’s not often something most people pay much attention to. We should be.

Fireworks put out other harmful elements like metals and lead.

A Washington Post article said fireworks “contain chemicals found in gasoline called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (commonly referred to as PAHs), which can cause cancer in high concentrations.”

I wrote a couple years ago about the need to rethink fireworks. Now I have even more reasons to.

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