The Bay Area Air Quality Management District today issued the first Spare the Air advisory for ozone in 2009 and is advising residents to drive less and reduce their energy use Monday.
Although air quality in the Bay Area is expected to be unhealthy, there will be no free transit and no wood-burning ban is in place, according to the air district.
This Spare the Air alert comes before the official start of the 2009 Spare the Air summer season, which begins in May.
Breathing ozone can cause throat irritation, congestion and chest pain. It can trigger asthma, inflame the lining of the lungs and worsen bronchitis and emphysema, according to the air district.