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Two Spare The Air Days Called This Week

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Sacramento region's air quality management districts have called Spare The Air days for Tuesday and Wednesday.  But, the smoke from the forest fires may not be to blame.  

Lori Kobza with the Sacramento Air Quality Management District says smoke contains oxides of nitrogen or "nox."

Separately, gas and paint fumes contain things called volatile organic compounds or "oc's".  Together, the nox and oc's -are changed by the sun- into ozone. 

But Kobza says there's no evidence the smoke has had much if any effect on the ozone levels here, "If it's a big enough impact then we can sometimes make a correlation between the nox coming from wildfires and an increase at certain monitoring sites."

Spare The Air days are called when ozone levels are more than halfway into the "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" range.

Even though there is no warning currently for smoke-related air quality, Kobza says asthmatics and people with respiratory conditions should stay indoors. 

Click here for the latest air quality readings for the Sacramento region.

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