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Smog season here: call to cut driving on Spare the Air days

By dcuff
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 at 8:00 am in Uncategorized.

 Spare the Air warm season has arrived in the Bay Area. From now until mid-October, the public will be asked to ride public transit more and drive autos less on days with unhealthy smog concentrations in the air.  

Monday was the official start of the season when the Bay Area Air Quality Management District decides daily whether the air is smoggy enough to justify a Spare the Air alert in seven Bay Area counties plus southern Solano and Sonoma counties. For more information, check out www.sparetheair.org. 

On the day before expected bouts of unhealthy air, the pollution district issues an advisory asking Bay Area residents to voluntarily limit driving, operation of gas mowers and other polluting activities. The request is voluntary – unlike winter Spare the Air days when wood fires are banned to curb smoke pollution.

Like it or not, California is a kind of home state for smog. Hey. Not all things are golden in the Golden State.

Arie J. Haagen-Smit, a chemistry professor at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, is credited with discovering that ozone is the irritant in smog, and that it is caused by a photochemical reaction of pollutants from car and industrial exhaust.

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