The Bay Area Quality Management District issues the first alert for the season, ‘Winter Spare the Air Alert’ on 26 November 2009. This main task is carried out by the Bay Area Quality Management District, which is the regional agency in this area, to protect the quality of air in the Bay Area.
In the Bay Area, air pollution increases in winter, as wood smoke gets trapped in the air. This wood smoke contains unhealthy pollutants, which increases the cancer ratio in adults. These unhealthy pollutants include toxins like dioxin, particulate matter and carbon monoxide. Wood smoke is produced from 1.4 million fireplaces and wood stoves used in the Bay Area, which causes almost one-third of air pollution in the Bay Area.
To bring down the level of air pollution, residents at Bay Area are prevented from using their woodstoves, outdoor pits, pellet stoves, fireplaces and other kinds of wood-burning devices. Using these appliances is considered to be illegal during the ‘Winter Spare the Air Alert’ season in the Bay Area. This season runs from 1 November, 2009 up to 28 February, 2010.
Jack Broadbent, Executive Officer of the Air District, requested the Bay Area Neighborhood and its community members to prevent burning of wood in woodstoves and fireplaces on the Thanksgiving Day, which will in turn improve the quality of air.
The status of the daily burning activities is available through a toll-free hotline number and the Air District web sites, www.sparetheair.org and www.baaqmd.gov. The public can also sign up for phone alerts and air alerts.