After declaring Monday a Spare the Air Day, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued a Spare the Air Day for Tuesday, Sept. 19, as well. The back-to-back alerts are due to hot temperatures and light winds that have combined to produce poor air quality.
This is the sixth air health alert for 2011.
"Tomorrow, we are again forecasting unhealthy concentrations of smog,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District, in a released statement. “With temperatures continuing to run high, it’s more important than ever that residents drive less, take public transportation, reduce energy use and do their part to minimize pollution."
Because of the high temperatures and poor air quality, residents, particularly the elderly and children, are advised to minimize their amount of time outdoors and undertake vigorous exercise only early in the morning when ozone levels are low.
Exhaut and emissions combine with oxygen in the heat to form ground-level ozone, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The air pollution can cause throat irritation, congestion and chest pain and trigger asthma and worsen bronchitis and emphysema.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issues Spare the Air Alerts whenever air quality is forecast to reach unhealthy concentrations.
The high temperatures are expected to continue through the week.
This week is expected to be one of the region's warmest of the year, according to the National Weather Service.
The higher temperatures will be noticeable throughout the Bay Area -- even in San Francisco, which is known for its chilly summers -- said Charles Bell, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. September is the warmest month on average for San Francisco, said Jan Null, a meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services.
While the Bay Area will be warm this week, residents don't need to worry about extreme heat, Bell said.
"We're not anticipating hot weather where we're experiencing health advisories because people without air conditioning might be at risk,"
Bell said. "This should be one of the nicest weeks of the whole year for the whole Bay Area."
But, he advised Bay Area residents to make their outdoor plans before the weekend, as the warm weather is only expected to continue through Friday.
A typhoon in the Pacific Ocean will be bringing in moisture, and there is a possibility of rain on Sunday, said Bell.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District offered the following suggestions for improving air quality:
- Visit 511.org to find a rideshare opportunity or check with HR office about carpool options at work
- 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
- Cook indoors, not on the barbecue
- Avoid using aerosol spay cleaners, paints and hairspray
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is the regional agency chartered with protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area. For more information about Spare the Air, visit www.sparetheair.org.
- Bay City News contributed to this article.