Heat-related smog advisory issued for King County

August 15, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 4:30 p.m. Aug. 16, 2012

Puget Sound Clean Air Agency forecasters said smog pollution in King and Pierce counties could reach unhealthy levels as temperatures rise to 90 degrees and beyond.

Smoggy conditions should mostly impact communities in the Cascade foothills, including Issaquah. Pollution generated by vehicle traffic and activities in the urban areas of Everett, Seattle and Tacoma accumulates as particles move to outlying suburban and rural areas.

Smog levels may remain elevated in the Cascade foothills through Saturday. The agency offers a tool for residents to check air quality in Issaquah and other locations.

Exposure to smog can trigger asthma attacks, make breathing difficult, exacerbate lung and heart problems, and weaken the immune system. The state Department of Health recommends for people sensitive to air pollution to limit time spent outdoors.

Such air pollution is especially harmful to children, people with heart and lung problems, and adults older than 65.

Smog builds as hot temperatures and sunlight “cook” everyday emissions from motor vehicles, industry, paints, solvents and gasoline fumes. The pollutants then react with the heat and sun, and form ground-level ozone, the main component in smog.

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