Dangerous air quality plagues Southern California after 4th of July fireworks

On July 5, 2024, unhealthy and hazardous air quality was reported in Southern California. (KTLA)

Independence Day may be over, but the poor air quality caused by fireworks remains.

KTLA's Southern California air quality map shows that much of the area has unhealthy air quality—that is, an air quality index between 151 and 200—and some areas are considered very unhealthy, with an AQI of 201 to 300.

The map, which uses data from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, shows that the area near Azusa and Glendora is hazardous, indicating an AQI of 301 to 500.

These increased air pollution levels are believed to be due to the large number of fireworks being set off in the region to mark Independence Day. The South Coast Air Quality Authority warned that the explosive celebrations would negatively affect air quality.

Pollution from fireworks adds to the smog and industrial fumes already present in the area and worsens air quality. Small “backyard” fireworks can cause even more damage to the environment, and if fireworks cause a fire, it contributes to even more pollution.

To avoid health effects such as heart attacks, worsening asthma, coughs or breathing difficulties, the AQMD offers the following tips:

  • Limit exposure by staying indoors and closing windows and doors or finding another shelter.
  • Avoid strenuous physical activities
  • Run an air conditioner and/or air purifier. If possible, avoid using evaporative coolers or whole-house fans that draw in outside air.

For more information, visit the AQMD website.