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Officials warn of poor air quality from July 4 fireworks in Inland Empire, San Gabriel Valley and surrounding areas

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Fourth of July celebrations around Southern California could cause airborne health problems, the region’s air quality watchdog reports.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued an advisory warning that particle pollution from July 4 fireworks may cause hazardous air quality Tuesday night into Wednesday across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

The advisory continues Wednesday, July 5, when AQMD air quality forecasts are marked red — meaning “unhealthy” — criteria. The areas affected were mainly around east San Gabriel Valley, Pomona, Ontario, parts of Riverside and Rancho Cucamonga.

Surrounding areas including central Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Redlands and San Bernardino have Wednesday forecasts that officials consider “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” Further inland and coastal areas, including Long Beach and much of Orange County, are marked as having a more “moderate” air quality.

Public fireworks displays and personal “backyard” show contribute to air pollution, and can create localized particulate matter concentrations, or harmful particle pollution, AQMD officials said.

Breathing the fine particulates from fireworks can lead to cardiovascular and respiratory health effects; such as heart attacks, asthma aggravation, decreased lung function, coughing, or difficulty breathing, and could lead to premature death in people with heart or lung disease.

Using consumer-grade “backyard” fireworks can also spark wildfires, which officials say can lead to hazardous air pollution.

Visit www.aqmd.gov/AQImap to see the current air quality in your neighborhood.

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