A third-straight Spare the Air alert has been issued for the Bay Area Thursday because of unhealthy air quality expected, air district officials said.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the alert Wednesday, citing forecasted high temperatures and light winds combining with vehicle exhaust to create unhealthy ozone levels.
Similar alerts were also issued for Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday's will be the seventh this season, according to the air district, which is encouraging residents and visitors to adopt alternatives to driving alone to reduce air pollution.
"Unfortunately there is more smog on the horizon for the Bay Area this week," air district executive officer Jack Broadbent said in a statement.
"Bay Area roads are packed with too many solo drivers, and we must reduce traffic congestion through alternative commutes like transit, carpools and telecommuting or continue to suffer the effects of smog and climate change," Broadbent said.
Air district officials said nearly 40 percent of Bay Area smog pollution and greenhouse gases are from passenger vehicles.
Spare the Air alerts are issued when ozone levels are forecast to reach unhealthy levels and can cause throat irritation, congestion, trigger asthma or worsen bronchitis and emphysema, according to the air district.
To find out whether a Spare the Air alert is in effect, residents can visit sparetheair.org, call 1-800-HELP-AIR, download the Spare the Air smartphone app or connect with Spare the Air on Facebook or Twitter.