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WeatherTalk: Fireworks cause a measurable pollution increase

July 5 is a day with more air pollution than a normal day in July.

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FARGO — It goes without saying that the Fourth of July is celebrated by many of us with fireworks. Coincidentally, the next day statistically is a day with more air pollution than a normal day in July. In fact, immediately after a fireworks show, pollutant concentrations can be up to eight times higher than a typical July night. The colorants and explosives in fireworks produce fine and ultra fine particles as well as volatile organic compounds which can be harmful to breathe, especially for people with sensitive lungs.

Of course, wind directly affects the amount of pollutants in the air. A stronger wind will mix the air and help the pollutants disperse. If the weather pattern brings light wind, the polluted air can stick around for hours or even days as the pollutant slowly disperses within the atmosphere.

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