Air Pollution Advisory Days

On very hot summer days, pollution from cars, other gas-powered engines, and smog-producing chemicals in paints and aerosol sprays can create unhealthy levels of smog. Also known as ground-level ozone, smog irritates the eyes, nose and lungs, and contributes to breathing problems, reduced lung function and asthma. Gas-powered engines are the top source of smog.

SWCAA advises smog-sensitive people including the elderly, small children and people suffering from asthma or lung disease to limit outdoor activities if pollution levels reach “unhealthy for sensitive groups” during the hot weather, especially in the late afternoon and early evening when smog concentrations tend to be highest. Smog is especially harmful to children, people with asthma and other lung problems, and older adults. Follow your health care provider’s advice or asthma action plan if you have asthma or other breathing problems.

Here are some actions that prevent smog:
  • Turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked or waiting in line. (Ten seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting your engine.)
  • Refuel your vehicle during cooler evening hours.
  • Wait until the heat wave breaks to use gas-powered lawn mowers and yard equipment.
  • Avoid painting and using aerosol sprays until it cools off.
  • To the extent possible limit driving or use public transportation.

Plan Ahead

Be ready to do something on an Air Pollution Advisory Day to prevent unhealthy air pollution, particularly when very hot weather lasts for several days in a row.

  • Know which Tri-Met MAX ,bus or C-Tran bus can get you to work or another destination. Call Tri-Met at 503-238-RIDE(7433) or C-Tran at 360-695-0123 for route and schedule information
  • Plan to carpool with a co-worker or neighbor on an Air Pollution Advisory day.

If you make a plan now, when you hear an Air Pollution Advisory, you’ll know what to do. And the air will be cleaner for all of us!

Ten Ways to Prevent Smog:
  • Drive less. (Cars are the number 1 source of air pollution.)
  • Take Tri-Met or C-Tran to work or school.
  • Carpool, walk, or bike.
  • Put off errands that require driving or combine errands to make fewer trips.
  • Don’t drive at lunchtime. Eat in.
  • Don’t mow your lawn with a gas-powered lawn mower. (A lawn mower can pollute as much or more than a car.)
  • Telecommute (work at home) if that’s an option for you.
  • Use alternatives to aerosol sprays.
  • Avoid using house paint or use low solvent paint.
  • If you are going to grill, cook on a gas barbecue and avoid using lighter fluid.