FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control will begin issuing daily forecasts on March 31 for ground-level ozone, the agency announced today.
"During the warmer months, ozone is our state's most widespread air quality concern," said Myra C. Reece, chief of the DHEC Bureau of Air Quality. "High ozone concentrations generally occur on hot sunny days when the air is stagnant. Mobile sources, such as cars, trucks, and lawn equipment, contribute to over half of our ozone levels. South Carolinians can make smart choices everyday to make our air cleaner and healthier by adjusting their daily transportation habits by carpooling, reducing idling time, driving less, and using outdoor equipment in the evenings."
Reece said ozone could create breathing problems, especially for children, people with asthma or other respiratory problems, and adults who work or exercise outdoors. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ozone can also cause tree and crop damage.
"We provide our forecasts to help the public make healthy decisions about outdoor activities," Reece said. "When ozone levels are forecast to reach unhealthy levels, we declare an ozone action day. As these events occur, we encourage everyone to reduce their activity levels outdoors. We also suggest that those with respiratory conditions, such as asthma, should stay indoors or limit outdoor activities as much as possible during ozone action days."
Ground-level ozone forecasts are available at:
For more information about ideas to help reduce ozone, visit http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Air/MostCommonPollutants/Ozone/HowtoHelpReduceOzone/.
Public Information Director