The Penalty for Fourth of July Fireworks: A Spike in Air Pollution

It's not just the ears of dogs that suffer the consequences of the nation's loudest celebration—it's also our lungs. Louisville provides the proof.

1 minute read

July 8, 2017, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Louisville, Kentucky

7263255 / Flickr

"[A]s is common for Independence Day, fireworks sent soot levels soaring in Louisville, with city monitors registered a sharp spike in the smallest particulate pollution starting around 9 p.m.," reports James Bruggers.

Louisville air quality quickly surpassed national standards (and then some), according to Bruggers. "The national standard is 35 micrograms per cubic meter, averaged over 24 hours," but on July 4, the "Watson Lane monitor climbed from 24 at 8 p.m. to 140 at 9 p.m., 166 at 10 p.m. before trailing off to 100 at 11 p.m. and 25 at midnight."

Louisville police say the combination of legal, sanctioned fireworks displays combined with illegal fireworks contribute to the poor air quality that follows Fourth of July celebrations.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 in Courier-Journal

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