Today marks third Spare the Air day of 2011

Wood-burning ban in place as Bay Area Air Quality Management District warns of unhealthy air quality

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced Thursday that Friday (Sept. 2) would be the third Spare the Air day issued this year.

"A brief spike in temperatures (Friday) is expected to contribute to unhealthy air quality in the Bay Area," the district's executive director Jack Broadbent said in a press release.

The district encourages people to drive less and reduce their energy use, in effect reducing pollution levels and the need for health alerts when temperatures are high, officials said. There will be a wood-burning ban in place, and the district is encouraging people to take public transit, carpool, bike or walk to work to reduce energy consumption.

Motor vehicle exhaust and household chemicals are among the materials that contain volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides that combine with oxygen in the presence of heat and sunlight to form ground-level ozone, officials said. Breathing ozone can cause a number of health problems, officials said, including throat irritation and chest pain, and it can trigger asthma and worsen bronchitis and emphysema.

People are also encouraged to avoid using gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers, aerosol spray cans or lighter fluid on a barbecue.

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Like this comment
Posted by yesterday's news
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 2, 2011 at 12:17 pm

The Spare the Air day was announced yesterday. Why did the Weekly wait until today to announce it here? If people knew yesterday, they could have avoided driving to work today. Fewer cars on the road during the week will help improve air quality during the holiday weekend.

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