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Health Alert – 'Spare the Air' Warning for Saturday

The Bay Area's air quality agency says the amount of ground-level ozone expected tomorrow, Sept. 29, will be unhealthy and urges residents to take mass transit, reduce energy use and avoid vigorous outdoor exercise during the hottest part of the da

This year's eighth Spare the Air smog alert has been declared for tomorrow, Sept. 29, by the Bay Area Air Management Quality District.

"Air quality in the Bay Area is forecast to be unhealthy tomorrow, Saturday," the district said in a news release Friday.

“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,” Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District, said in a statement.

The agency also advised against outdoor vigorous execise tomorrow during the late afternoon when ozone concentrations are highest, the district said. Wood-burning is banned tomorrow.

Dangerous ground-level ozone increases with a rise in temperature in combination with sunlight, oxygen and volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides caused by car exhaust, gasoline vapors, industrial emissions and household chemicals, according to the district.

The agency said health effects of ozone can "cause throat irritation, congestion, chest pain, trigger asthma, inflame the lining of the lungs and worsen bronchitis and emphysema," the agency said. "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," according to the district.

The agency urged members of the public to consider these daily measures to insure healthier air:

• Bike to work or around town

• Take public transit

• Work at home or telecommute

• Carpool and link your errands to reduce driving

• Avoid using gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers

• Reduce household energy use

• Don’t use lighter fluid on the barbecue

• Avoid using aerosol spray cleaners, paints and hairspray

The said 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 

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