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Heat returns, along with pollution

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Posted: Monday, July 2, 2001 10:00 pm

Scorching heat returned to the Central Valley this week, bringing with it the first Spare the Air day in Lodi as pollution reached levels considered dangerous for some people.

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District reported a pollution level of 174 Monday.

When air pollution levels exceed 150 on the air quality Index, it creates problems for children and adults who have respiratory problems or are sensitive to air pollution, said Janis Parker, the district's marketing and education specialist.

Today's forecast air quality index reading for northern San Joaquin County is 109 - considered unhealthy for sensitive people but not high enough to declare a Spare the Air day.

When a Spare the Air day is in effect, doctors advise people who have asthma to stay inside.

"Don't go out for that evening run and avoid high levels of exertion. Exercise indoors," said Dr. Gregory W. Bensch of Allergy Immunology and Asthma Medical Group, Inc., which has offices in Lodi and Stockton.

Meanwhile, prepare for what could be an even hotter day today with high temperatures expected to reach 108 in Lodi.

The predicted high for the Fourth of July holiday is 105.

Temperatures are expected to drop to the mid-90s Friday.

The cause of the heat is hot air sweeping across the deserts of the southwest, said Ken Clark, head forecaster for AccuWeather, a commercial weather forecasting company that provides forecasts to the News-Sentinel and lodinews.com.

"Death Valley's high temperatures Monday topped out at 123 degrees and Las Vegas at 112," Clark said. "It's hot. It's summer."

During Spare the Air days, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District asks residents to carpool whenever possible and avoid nonessential trips in vehicles.

The district also suggests postponing yard work with gasoline-powered equipment and the use of products containing high levels of volatile organic compounds such as household sprays, charcoal lighter fluid, solvents and oil-based paints.

Postponing the use of motor boats, personal watercraft and off-road vehicles for 24 hours is also advised.


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Comments about this story? Send mail to the News-Sentinel newsroom.

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