SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — On Friday the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued its 26th Spare the Air Alert for smog in 2016, breaking the record for Spare the Air Alerts called in a single season.
Air quality is forecast to be unhealthy on Saturday, October 8. Hot temperatures and light offshore winds, combined with motor vehicle exhaust from traffic, will create unhealthy ozone accumulation in the region. Air quality conditions are expected to improve Sunday as onshore winds increase.
“With a record-breaking number of Spare the Air Alerts this year, this is a wake-up call that we must reduce the number of cars on Bay Area roads,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. “Increased employment rates and traffic congestion underscore the need to find alternatives to driving alone.”
Spare the Air Alerts are issued when ozone pollution is forecast to reach unhealthy levels. Ozone, or smog, can cause throat irritation, congestion and chest pain. It can also 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.
To improve air quality, the public is encouraged to carpool, bike, walk or take transit to work instead of driving alone – not just on Spare the Air days, but every day. The public is encouraged to consider an all-electric vehicle as their next vehicle purchase to help the region reduce the number of gas-powered vehicles that contribute to unhealthy smog. Visit http://www.stacommutetips.org for a list of commute programs available where they live and work.