The Fourth of July brings some of the year's worst air pollution. You can thank fireworks

Americans’ fervor for Fourth of July fireworks has some unfortunate side effects.

There’s a jump in fires, gruesome injuries and runaway pets spooked by the noise.

But there’s also a more widespread hazard from the yearly outburst of pyrotechnics: It spikes air pollution so sharply it becomes dangerous for everyone to breathe.

Independence Day and July 5 consistently have some of the worst air quality of the year. With so many fireworks going off at once, levels of fine-particle pollution — a stew of tiny, lung-damaging specks of toxic soot, smoke and ash known as PM2.5 — surge several times higher than federal health standards across Southern California, air monitoring data show.

RELATED: Skip the fines and fires caused by illegal shows. L.A. has plenty of legal fireworks displays »
Pollution levels jump sharply around 8 or 9 p.m. the evening of the Fourth of July, around when it gets dark, reaching their peak late in the night. The unhealthy pall hangs in the still, nighttime air and lingers through the following morning — a kind of hazy hangover from the night’s revelry.

Read the entire article at LAtimes.com