Summer is filled with the hot, dry days that can lead to an increase of smog in the air.
To help minimize summer
smog, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issues Spare the Air alerts, asking Bay Area residents to limit activities that will increase smog on days where the air quality index is 101 or higher in two of the five Bay Area monitoring regions.
Here is a list of Dos and Don’ts to consider on Spare the Air days.
Why should we “Spare the Air”?
Increased levels of smog in the air can irritate the eyes, nose and throat, and can cause coughs and headaches. Not the best thing for a day at the beach. Poor air quality especially affects people who have asthma and other respiratory conditions. When we are exposed to smog for long periods of time, it can cause serious problems to the heart and lungs. Children and senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to health problems caused by poor air quality.
DON'T use gas powered machines
Lawn mowers and leaf blowers are just can release chemicals that contribute to smog. Use an old fashioned or electric lawn mower to cut your grass and use a broom to sweep up leaves.
Suzanne Tucker | Dreamstime
DO cut back on driving
Driving a car emits chemicals into the air that can turn into smog. Chemicals released during the early morning commute heat up in the afternoon sun and turn into smog. Carpooling saves gas as well. You can also consider taking public transit to Spare the Air.
J.L. Sousa, Register
DON'T use chemical cleaners and air refreshers
Chemical cleaners and air refreshers might make your home cleaner and smell better, but they are harmful to the environment and the air. Use natural cleaners and use more natural air refreshers, like a bouquet of summer flowers.
Aprescindere | Dreamstime
DO plan errands together
If you have a long list of things to do and you have to drive, try planning them so you can only leave the house once. Not only do you drive less but there will be less time in the heat and more time in a cool house.
Howard Yune, Register
DON'T host a campfire
Having a summer campfire is fun, but burning wood emits smoke which can pollute the air. Avoid having fires that emit a lot of smoke to keep the air clean.
Olesia Bilkei | Dreamstime
DO report smoking vehicles
If you see a car on the road that is emitting exhaust, don’t ignore it. Have your passenger call 1-800-EXHAUST (1-800-394-2878).
Paolo Bona / Shutterstock
DON'T use hairspray
Hairspray has chemicals that can easily contribute to smog. Try keeping the air chemical free by avoiding using aerosol cans. Hey, maybe you can try a new hairstyle!
Zsöllér Ervin | Dreamstime
DO sign up for Spare the Air alerts
Sign up for the
Bay Area Enviroflash email alerts to receive air pollution forecasts and alerts when the next Spare the Air Alert is in effect.