High levels of smoke from fireworks could create some health concerns for groups sensitive to air pollution, according to the Douglas County Health Department.

The concern is likely to exist between now and Friday, the day after the Fourth of July holiday, and may make breathing difficult for individuals with asthma or other lung or heart disease, the elderly, very young children and pregnant women.     

 “Historically high concentrations of fine particles have occurred due to fireworks around the Fourth of July holiday,” Health Director Dr. Adi Pour said. “You can minimize the effects of this air pollution by avoiding strenuous activity or exercise outdoors and by not spending prolonged periods of time outdoors.”

Common symptoms include repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, tightness or pain in the chest, palpitations, nausea, unusual fatigue or a light-headed feeling. Symptoms can occur up to several weeks following exposure to particulates.  Anyone experiencing worsening symptoms, regardless of their smoke exposure, should contact their health care provider.

Any increase in air pollution that occurs should be gone by midday Friday.