(BCN) — A heat wave bringing searing temperatures to much of the Bay Area is creating the perfect setting for smog, prompting air district officials to extend a Spare the Air Alert through Tuesday. Air quality is expected unhealthy due to triple-digit temperatures combined with light winds and vehicle exhaust, Bay Area Air Quality Management District officials said.

Residents should find alternatives to driving alone to help reduce smog, said Sharon Landers, interim executive officer of the air district.

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“Tailpipe exhaust combines with heat and sunlight to create harmful smog. The public can protect their health by avoiding outdoor activities when temperatures and air pollution levels are highest,” Landers said. The air alerts are issued when ozone pollution, or smog, is forecast to reach unhealthy levels. Ozone can cause throat irritation, congestion and chest pain. It can trigger asthma, inflame the lining of the lungs and worsen bronchitis and emphysema, according to the air district.

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