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'Very unhealthy' air quality lingers around metro Detroit after fireworks

Posted at 5:27 PM, Jul 05, 2024

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said "a combination of boisterous fireworks celebrations and a lack of air movement" has caused smoke to sit on top of Detroit.

Air quality measurements posted on AirNow.gov showed Detroit had a USG rating or Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, both today and yesterday.

WATCH: Mike Taylor details the inversion that led to the air quality issues in metro Detroit on Friday

Unhealthy air quality in metro Detroit

"This appears to be a very isolated incident not associated with the wildfire smoke, and you know, this isn't just in the City of Detroit. We're seeing this in most of the urban cities in Michigan," Jill Greenberg, a spokesperson for EGLE, said.

Air quality is measured by particulate matter or PM, including particles like dust, dirt smoke and soot. Greenberg said this year, that measurement was glaring.

"Usually we get higher PM 2.5 numbers on the Fourth of July, but this year was unusually high," Greenberg said.

She added, "to give you an example, the winds above Detroit just were dead calm up to nearly 3,000 meters, so that firework smoke was just hanging in the air."

Plume Labs labeled Detroit's air quality as dangerous around 11 p.m. Thursday night. That's when it peaked. Greenberg said the rain helped, and the wind picking up on Friday afternoon also helped get it out

Since fireworks will likely continue through the weekend, Greenberg said it's important to check the wind forecast. Surface winds are expected to reach 15 mph, which reportedly does not indicate a repeat of what we saw Thursday night and Friday.