The Sacramento region’s 24th Spare The Air season is here! Summer heat is fast approaching and with that comes the potential for smog, known as ground-level ozone. You’re urged to pay attention to the daily air quality forecast to know what you’re breathing and protect your health. Be ready to drive less to reduce pollution when you hear a Spare The Air alert this summer.
Air pollution can cause health problems for everyone. According to the California Department of Public Health, more than 350,000 people in the Sacramento region have asthma, which can be worsened by ground-level ozone pollution. Poor air quality can affect children more than adults, as children’s lungs are still developing and they breathe more rapidly than adults do, which increases their exposure.
The majority of our summer pollution is caused by oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) coming from mobile sources. This includes cars, trucks, construction equipment and agricultural equipment. It’s important to reduce driving to reduce pollution.
A Sacramento region-wide Spare The Air alert is issued when air pollution levels are forecast to meet or exceed 126 on the Air Quality Index (AQI). For more information, visit www.SpareTheAir.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Spare The Air?
Spare The Air is a public education campaign that runs in the Sacramento region from May 1 through October 31. Coordinated by the Sac Metro Air District, on behalf of the air districts of the region, Spare The Air informs the region’s residents about the dangerous health effects of air pollution, provides tips to reduce it and urges residents to reduce driving when a Spare The Air alert is issued.
When is a Spare The Air alert issued?
A Spare The Air alert is issued when ground-level ozone (smog) is forecast to meet or exceed 126 on the Air Quality Index (AQI).
What is the Air Quality Index?
The Air Quality Index (AQI) was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It’s used nationwide to help you understand what local air quality means to your health. The higher the AQI value, the greater the amount of air pollution, which means the greater the health concerns. The AQI is a great tool for you to use to determine if you can enjoy the outdoors as usual, or if you should consider planning an indoor activity to reduce exposure to air pollution.
What are the health effects of air pollution?
Anyone – even healthy people – can experience health impacts from air pollution, including respiratory irritation or breathing difficulties during exercise or outdoor activities. Your actual risk of adverse effects depends on your current health status, the pollutant type and concentration, and the length of your exposure.
High air pollution levels can cause immediate health problems, including:
Long-term exposure to polluted air can have permanent health effects, such as:
Who is most vulnerable to poor air quality?
Those most susceptible to severe health problems from air pollution are:
People in these groups may experience health impacts at lower air pollution levels, or their health effects may be of greater intensity.
How can air pollution impact you?
What are some easy ways to improve air quality?
Here’s what you can do:
How can I receive Spare The Air alerts?
Where can I get more information?
Contact Sac Metro Air District at 1-800-880-9025, or visit www.SpareTheAir.com.