Reported by South Carolina Radio Network’s Tripp Girardeau.
Today, ground-level ozone has become elevated all around South Carolina. The state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) released an “Orange Ozone Action Day” for several counties, which insists on higher levels of caution for this invisible health problem.
DHEC defines ground-level ozone as “bad ozone” that pollutes the air we breathe. It can be created from vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapor, chemical solvents, and any kind of gas-powered lawn tools. It also can be caused when weather conditions are hot and dry.
The spokesman for DHEC, Adam Myrick, explains the heightened orange level and its safety precautions:
The orange level’s reached and that’s when we put out the information to say… try to remain indoors as much as you can…carpool if you’re able to do that. That of course will cut down on the number cars on the road.
Myrick also warns that everyone is at risk to the dangers of high ground-level ozone, but some will feel it more than others.
People with the breathing problems and the respiratory diseases, those are the people who are probably going to feel the ozone more than anyone else, but we do remind people during these ozone action days, those who are active, those who are outside and otherwise healthy to also be mindful that they may experience some breathing problems.
DHEC confirms that elevated ground-level ozone is common in South Carolina and people should continue to be cautious throughout the remainder of the summer. They warn people to not stay outside for long periods of time, and try to walk, not drive, to create safer conditions during these days.