Air District Issues First Spare the Air Advisory of 2008 Summertime Season | News

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Air District Issues First Spare the Air Advisory of 2008 Summertime Season

Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Update as of 4 p.m. Thursday, May 15, 2008:

Air District Issues Second Spare the Air Advisory of 2008 Summertime Season

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has declared Friday, May 16, 2008, as a Spare the Air Day in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is the second such advisory in as many days.

Concentrations of ground-level ozone pollution are forecast to be unhealthy on May 16. Hot temperatures and light winds will combine to produce poor air quality in the Bay Area. To help prevent smog, please:

- Work at home, walk, bike, take public transit, carpool or link your errands to minimize driving.
- Raise the thermostat to minimze use of your air conditioner to reduce power usage and pollution.

To plan your commute online, visit 511.org.

To monitor current air quality conditions, visit www.sparetheair.org.

This makes two days in a row that the Air District has issued a Spare the Air advisory. A new, more stringent federal standard for ozone begins May 27 and will likely result in more Spare the Air advisories this summer and calls for the public to make clean air choices every day.

Today the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the first Spare the Air advisory for the 2008 summer smog season.

Air quality in the Bay Area is forecast to be unhealthy tomorrow, Thursday, May 15.

There is no free transit tomorrow. This Spare the Air Advisory officially starts the annual Spare the Air season. The Air District encourages residents to drive less and reduce their energy use.

“The Spare the Air program is about improving air quality and protecting the health of our residents,” said Air District Executive Officer Jack Broadbent. “This year we are asking the public to make clean air choices every day to help improve air quality.”

A new, more stringent, federal standard for ozone begins May 27th and will likely result in more Spare the Airadvisories this season.

Motor vehicle exhaust, industrial emissions, gasoline vapors and household chemicals contain volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides that combine with oxygen in the presence of heat and sunlight to form ground-level ozone. Breathing ozone can cause throat irritation, congestion and chest pain. It can trigger asthma, inflame the lining of the lungs and worsen bronchitis and emphysema. Long-term exposure to ozone can reduce lung function. High levels of ozone pollution are particularly harmful for young children, seniors and those with respiratory and heart conditions. Vigorous outdoor exercise should be undertaken only in the early morning hours when ozone concentrations are lower. The Air District issues Spare the Airadvisories whenever air quality is forecast to reach unhealthy concentrations.

A list of simple things the public can do to make clean air choices every day:

  • Ride a bike (May 15th is Bike to Work Day)
  • Take public transit
  • Work at home or telecommute
  • Carpool and link your errands to reduce driving
  • Avoid using gas powered lawn mowers
  • Turn off lights, minimize use of air conditioner
  • Cook indoors, not on the barbecue
  • Avoid using aerosol spray cleaners, paints and hairspray

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is committed to achieving clean air to protect the public's health and the environment. For more information, visit www.baaqmd.gov. For more information about the new Spare the Air, Every Day campaign, visit www.sparetheair.org.

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