The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued another Spare the Air smog alert for Thursday, July 12.
It is the district's third consecutive Spare the Air Alert for smog and the fourth overall for 2012.
In an announcement issued Wednesday afternoon, Air District officials said they recommend that residents in Napa and other Bay Area counties avoid outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day, when air quality is unhealthiest.
The announcement continues,
“Multiple Spare the Air Alerts are a wakeup call that we must do more to reduce air pollution and protect the health of Bay Area residents,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District.
“It’s vitally important for us all to drive less and reduce the overall amount of air pollution to avoid unhealthy air during high heat days.”
The Air District encourages the public to re-think their commute by taking transit, carpooling, working from home or biking and leave their car at home twice a week to avoid air pollution that builds up and creates unhealthy smog when the Bay Area experiences high temperatures.
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, biking or walking instead of driving alone. 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, Twitter or Google+
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.
Do you think these Spare the Alerts are worthwhile?
Or do you think they're a waste of time?
Do you follow the Air District's advice for smoggy days?
Or do you ignore the whole thing?
Tell us in the comments and let us know in our non-scientific poll.