SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The first Spare the Air Alert of the year has been issued for Thursday by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Bay Area air quality is forecast to be unhealthy on Thursday with light winds, hot temperatures and exhaust expected to create elevated conditions for smog and ozone, the BAAQMD said.
“As temperatures heat up and our roadways become increasingly crowded, air quality is expected to be unhealthy,” said Dr. Philip Fine, executive officer of the Air District in a news release. “This Spare the Air Alert highlights the need to reduce cars on our roadways and find alternatives to driving alone such as taking transit, working remotely, walking or biking.”
The Bay Area is currently in the midst of the year’s first heatwave which is expected to bring widespread temperatures in the 80s to 90s Wednesday and Thursday.
The BAAQMD issues Spare the Air Alerts when ozone pollution is forecast to reach unhealthy levels.
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“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 can reduce lung function,” the BAAQMD said.
Children, seniors and those with respiratory and heart conditions are particularly vulnerable to ozone pollution. During a Spare the Air Alert, it’s recommended to avoid outdoor exercise except in the early morning hours when ozone concentrations are lower.