23rd Spare The Air season now underway

Air pollution affects us all

The Sacramento region’s 23rd Spare The Air season began May 1. Each summer, the Spare The Air campaign educates the public about the health effects of air pollution and asks residents to drive less when a Spare The Air alert is issued due to poor air quality.

Residents in the Sacramento region are urged to pay attention to the daily Air Quality Index (AQI) by downloading the free Sacramento Region Air Quality app. It’s available in iOS, Android and Windows app stores. Users get the daily air quality forecast, current air pollution readings for Sacramento, Placer, Yolo-Solano and El Dorado counties, as well as Spare The Air alerts and wildfire smoke advisories when issued.

The AQI keeps the public informed about how clean or polluted the air is in their communities. The chart has six categories: Good (green), Moderate (yellow), Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange), Unhealthy (red), Very Unhealthy (purple), and Hazardous (maroon).

Some people are more vulnerable to the health impacts of air pollution, including children, because their lungs are still developing; older adults and the elderly; pregnant women; and individuals with heart or lung disease, especially asthma. Even if you are healthy, air pollution can cause respiratory irritation or breathing difficulties during exercise or outdoor activities.

Follow these tips to help reduce air pollution and protect your health this summer:

  • Reduce your driving – postpone at least one trip, especially on a Spare The Air day
  • Garden green – avoid using gas-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers and other garden equipment
  • Link your errands into one big trip to lower pollution by reducing cold starts of your car engine
  • Work from home – get employer permission in advance
  • Bring your lunch to work
  • Use an electric starter or chimney briquette starter instead of charcoal lighter fluid to start your barbecue
  • Postpone outings on gas or diesel-powered boats, trail bikes or all-terrain vehicles because they are high pollution sources
  • Take public transit, walk or bike for commute, errands and recreation
  • Visit www.SpareTheAir.com, follow Spare The Air on Twitter at Twitter.com/AQMD, or “like” Scooter, the Spare The Air mascot, at Facebook.com/ScooterTheSpareTheAirDog.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *