Local News

Monday, Jul 01 2013 03:58 PM

Air officials urge fireworks restraint

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Raul Perez, 8, right, and his sister Florance Perez, 6, get an idea of what kind of fireworks they may want to see on the Fourth of July as firework stands opened today to start selling to the public.. Their parents were working the Mision Apostolica Church stand at the corner of North Chester Avenue and China Grade Loop.

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    The public will have many legal fireworks to choose from to celebrate the Fourth of July, including these brightly colored offerings that emit a shower of sparks.

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BY LAURA LIERA Californian staff writer lliera@bakersfield.com

Fourth of July is just days away and while many community members stand in line to buy fireworks at the stands around the county, the local air district is urging residents to think twice about burning fireworks this year.

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District says fireworks emit large quantities of particulate matter and pose a health threat to the community.

"The valley air around July 4th reaches the unhealthiest level during this time of year," said Janelle Schneider, public information representative of the air district.

According to Schneider, when fireworks are burned they emit large quantities of soot, ash and metals that can cause fatigue, eye burning sensation, coughing and other health consequences.

Fine-particulate matter -- PM2.5 -- can invade the bloodstream and has been linked to heart attacks and stroke.

The fireworks that emit the most PM2.5 in the air are the ones burned in the streets as compared to fireworks burned in local stadiums.

"Because larger fireworks are up much higher, they disperse pretty quickly in the air but when you burn fireworks in streets, you have a more immediate impact because you're standing inside a cloud of particulate matter," Schneider said.

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