‘Spare The Air’ Alert Issued For Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Weather conditions forecast for Sunday have prompted the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to call for another Winter Spare the Air Day, the sixth so far this year.

“We only had four Winter Spare the Air alerts last year,” said Kristine Roselius with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. “We have a stubborn weather pattern in place right now, with a lot of cold air and still winds. So it doesn’t move the pollution out like it has in past years.”

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

The proclamation means that wood burning, both indoors and outdoors, is illegal all day. During the winter months, wood smoke is the leading cause of wintertime air pollution in the Bay Area.

“Particulate pollution that you get from wood smoke has a serious and immediate health impact on us,” said Roselius. “It exacerbates asthma and any other respiratory condition. But it also impacts those of us who are healthy by lodging cancer-causing particles in our lungs.”

Roselius said that they’ve done studies measuring pollution levels inside regular homes where fires are burning in the fireplace and have found those levels to be more than 60 times above national health standards.

She said that if weather conditions remain the same, more alerts will be scheduled through the end of the year.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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