(KTSF by Jessie Liang)
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is marking the 20 year anniversary of the Spare the Air program which started in 1991. Through the Spare the Air program, Bay Area residents are encouraged to reduce air pollution every day by reducing driving, keeping their vehicles maintained, carpooling, taking transit, and walking and biking.
Spare the Air alerts are issued 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. Ozone pollution is particularly harmful for young children, seniors and those with respiratory and heart conditions.
Tailpipe exhaust from the millions of cars on Bay Area roads has been the largest source of smog in the Bay Area. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District granted $3.9 million to install public charging stations and help residents to buy electric vehicles and install charging stations at home.
Residents can help Spare the Air by carpooling, taking transit, biking or walking instead of driving alone. Visit www.sparetheair.org, call 1-800-HELPAIR (435-7247) or sign up for email AirAlerts at www.sparetheair.org to check the daily air quality forecast. iPhone users can also download free Spare the Air apps to get information.
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