No Spare the Air Alert in effect in the Bay Area

Bay City News
Saturday, November 26, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO -- There is currently no Spare the Air Alert in effect in the Bay Area.

When an alert is in effect due to a heat wave, it can combine with vehicle exhaust to create unhealthy levels of smog. High levels of ozone, a major component of smog, can cause throat irritation, congestion and chest pain, trigger asthma and worsen other health issues. Ozone pollution is particularly harmful for young children, seniors and those with respiratory and heart conditions.

The air district encourages anyone planning to do strenuous activities to do so in the early morning hours when ozone concentrations are lower.

People can find out when a Spare the Air alert is in effect by registering for the alerts here, calling 1(800) HELP-AIR, downloading the Spare the Air smartphone app or connecting with Spare the Air on social media.

App users: For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new window

What are Spare the Air days?

Air quality in the Bay Area can be unhealthy at times throughout the year.

Spare the Air Alerts are called when ozone pollution is forecast to reach unhealthy levels. Ozone, or smog, can cause throat irritation, congestion, chest pain, trigger asthma, inflame the lining of the lungs and worsen bronchitis and emphysema. Long-term exposure to ozone can reduce lung function. Ozone pollution is particularly harmful to young children, seniors and those with respiratory and heart conditions.

When a Spare the Air Alert is called, outdoor exercise should be done only in the early morning hours when ozone concentrations are lower. Residents are encouraged to reduce air pollution every day by rethinking their commute and avoiding driving alone.

Find out more about what the Air District is doing to address climate change in the nine-county Bay Area. Spare the Air-Cool the Climate is a blueprint for tackling regional air pollution and climate pollutants while improving the health of Bay Area residents for the next several decades. Check out the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's video about their vision on climate change:

On Spare the Air days or nights, there is no free transit.

Here's a list of simple things the public can do to make clean air choices every day:

  • 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
  • Don't use lighter fluid on the barbecue
  • Avoid using aerosol spray cleaners, paints and hairspray

The Spare the Air smog season runs from May through October. The Winter Spare the Air season runs from November through February.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is the regional agency responsible for protecting air quality in the Bay Area. For more information about Spare the Air, visit www.sparetheair.org

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