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Smog Watch in effect

Freds Rivertown Alehouse
Published:08/14/2008 Safety
Smog Watch in effect    Print Snohomish Times    
Smog Watch in effect

August 14, 2008  A Smog Watch has been called by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

People who are especially sensitive to pollution are advised to limit their time outdoors.  Even healthy individuals should consider limiting their outdoor exercise, or plan to work out indoors.

The Clean Air Agency suggests the following actions you can take to help spare the air:
  • Carpool or ride the bus to work, events and outings. 
  • If you must drive, use your most fuel-efficient car and combine errands into one trip.
  • If you must refuel, do it in the evening hours, dont top off the tank and make sure your gas cap clicks tightly closed.
  • Skip gasoline-powered yard work and gas-fueled recreation.
  • Avoid using household products that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Look for low- or no-VOC paints and water-based solvents, instead.
  • Use an electric starter or charcoal chimney to start your barbecue (theres no need to ever use lighter fluid).  Even better, use only a gas grill or opt for a non-grill picnic.

The weather pattern from now through Saturday night will result in ozone pollution rising to unhealthy levels. The communities most impacted are south and southeast of the core urban areas of Everett, Seattle and Tacoma where air quality is predicted to decline to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups on Friday and Saturday due to the production of ozone.

Fine particle pollution will also increase resulting in reduced visibility and likely creating Moderate air-quality conditions on Friday and Saturday in most areas throughout the Puget Sound region.

Air quality is predicted to improve overnight on Saturday as a push of marine air is expected to scour out the accumulated pollution in the Puget Sound region and return air-quality conditions to Good on Sunday.  The Smog Watch will be cancelled at noon Sunday unless high temperatures and poor air quality persist.

The Department of Health reminds people with asthma and parents of children with asthma to limit outdoor activities during hazy, sunny, hot weather when ozone levels are high. Adults with lung and cardiovascular diseases (heart disease and stroke) should also be mindful of poor air quality.

This weeks Smog Watch is the second called this month.  With a new, more stringent air quality standard for ozone, it will be difficult for our region to stay in compliance with the federal standard.

Ozone comes primarily from automobile tailpipes and cooks in heat and sunlight on hot days to produce smog.  Exposure to ground-level ozone can reduce lung function, cause respiratory irritation, aggravate asthma symptoms, and weaken the immune system. Ozone has environmental impacts as well; studies show that ozone can damage agricultural crops and forests. 

To learn more about smog and what you can to lessen the pollution leading up to it, visit www.pscleanair.org/airq/basics/weather/smog.aspx .

Check air-quality forecasts and current conditions at www.pscleanair.org/airq/aqi.aspx# .




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