Health Department waves warning flag while bombs burst in air

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- The Douglas County Health Department warns of possible air pollution concerns this weekend due to the smoke from fireworks.

The concern is greatest between Thursday and Wednesday, the day after the Fourth of July holiday. It may cause breathing to be difficult for people with asthma or other heart or lung diseases, the elderly, very young children, and pregnant women.

“Historically, we have had high concentrations of fine particles due to fireworks around the Fourth of July holiday,” Health Director Dr. Adi Pour said. “You can minimize the risk of problems by avoiding strenuous outdoor activity and limiting time spent 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 Wednesday.