SAN FRANCISCO – Today the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the ninth Spare the Air Alert for smog in 2012.
Air quality in the Bay Area is forecast to be unhealthy Sunday, Sept. 29. There is no free transit and there is no wood burning ban in place. The Air District recommends that residents avoid outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day, when air quality is unhealthiest.
“This late summer hot spell means poor air quality is expected in the Bay Area,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. “Reducing driving alone, especially in the summer months, will go a long way towards eliminating pollution that turns to smog when we have hot weather.”
Residents should avoid strenuous outdoor activity in the late afternoon when air quality is expected to be unhealthy.
Spare the Air Alerts are issued when ozone pollution is forecast to reach unhealthy levels. Ozone, or smog, can cause throat irritation, congestion, chest pain, trigger asthma, inflame the lining of the lungs and worsen bronchitis and emphysema. Long-term exposure to ozone can reduce lung function. Ozone pollution is particularly harmful for young children, seniors and those with respiratory and heart conditions. When a Spare the Air Alert is issued, outdoor exercise should be done only in the early morning hours when ozone concentrations are lower.
Smog is formed when volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides from motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, industrial emissions and household chemicals combine with oxygen in the presence of heat and sunlight.
Residents can help Spare the Air by carpooling, taking transit, switching to an electric vehicle, biking or walking. Visit sparetheair.org or 511.org for more information about commute alternatives.
Residents can check for Spare the Air Alerts by:
- Visiting sparetheair.org
- Calling the toll-free hotline 1-800-HELPAIR (435-7247)
- Signing up for email AirAlerts at sparetheair.org
- Downloading the Spare the Air iPhone or Android app
- Connecting with Spare the Air on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter - follow the hashtag #staalert on Twitter to get Spare the Air Alerts
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (www.baaqmd.gov) is the regional agency responsible for protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area. For more information about Spare the Air, visit www.sparetheair.org.