The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department has issued a Health Advisory for people with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory conditions like COPD due to high levels of smoke from fireworks.
In recent years, LLCHD has found high levels of particulate air pollution from the night of July 3 through the morning of July 5, resulting in the Air Quality Index (AQI) level of “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.” Fireworks may be used in the City of Lincoln from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 3 and 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. July 4.
“The young, the elderly and others at risk should avoid extensive physical activity outdoors or remain indoors with windows and doors closed,” said Chris Schroeder, LLCHD Air Quality Program Supervisor. “Those who experience health effects should consult their doctor.”
Schroeder said fine particle pollution is so small that it can get deep into the lungs and enter the blood stream, causing serious health problems. He said most people will not be affected, but warned that even a few hours of exposure to high levels of particles may aggravate lung disease, cause asthma attacks and acute bronchitis, and increase the chances of respiratory infection. For people with heart disease, short-term exposures to high levels of particle pollution have been linked to angina, heart attacks and arrhythmia.
LLCHD monitors air quality 24 hours a day. The AQI for Lincoln is updated daily and can be found at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: air). Residents are encouraged to check the AQI the next few days before doing any strenuous activities outside.