News

Second Spare the Air day called for Tuesday

High temperatures, low winds create recipe for smog, air district officials say

A second consecutive Spare the Air day has been issued in the Bay Area for Tuesday because forecasts calling for high temperatures and low winds are expected to create unhealthy smog levels, air quality officials said today.

It is the second alert issued by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District for its summer season after the first was issued for today.

Commuters are urged to avoid driving alone on Spare the Air days to cut down on the amount of car exhaust entering the atmosphere, according to the air district.

"Vehicle traffic accounts for most of the ozone-forming pollution in the Bay Area, and choosing commute alternatives such as carpooling or taking transit can make a big difference when it comes to protecting air quality and our health," air district spokesman Jack Broadbent said in a statement.

The air district said 37 percent of Bay Area employees commute alone to work every day and that employees are more likely to adopt alternatives if encouraged by their employer.

To that end, employers with 50 or more full-time employees must register on 511.org to provide commute options for their employees.

Suggestions for commute alternatives are also available at www.stacommutetips.org.

High levels of ozone can cause numerous health problems including throat irritation, congestion, chest pain, asthma and worsened bronchitis and emphysema, according to the air district.

Air pollution is particularly harmful to young children and seniors, district officials said.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 13, 2014 at 7:54 pm

It's too bad that free transit isn't provided on Spare the Air Days, like it used to be. Of course, if one considers that most rapid transit facilities are already jammed during rush hour, making it free would just make it worse. Has anyone considered we might have a few too many folks living in Mountain View / Palo Alto / Los Altos / et al?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gunita
a resident of another community
on May 14, 2014 at 10:31 pm

A lesser known fact: Industrialized factory farming is actually the number one cause of greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, consuming no animal products is 50% more effective at fighting global warming than switching to a hybrid! I think if we want to protect the environment, we ought to be examining our diets and we should work toward incorporating more plant-based foods into our meals. I take the issue of environmental preservation very seriously and earnestly wish that more people would direct their efforts to the root of the cause rather than offer mere palliatives. That said, every bit of course counts, and I applaud anyone working to create a greener planet.

Cheers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Moo
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 15, 2014 at 3:13 am

Unfortunately, unchecked "free market" economics is destroying this planet. Fortunately, countries like France balance intelligence and forward thinking with the advantages of private enterprise.
Here an is article describing French farmers are starting to choose feeds that reduce carbon emissions: Web Link

Perhaps the US can learn from this effort. Unfortunately, the ranchers will have no economic incentives to change, so a carbon tax will likely be required.


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