Statewide Air Quality Warning Issued
Forecasts indicate today's air may be unhealthy for certain groups.
An air quality warning has been issued today for most of South Carolina as climbing temperatures amplify the effects of pollutants in the air.
Individuals with breathing difficulty — lung diseases such as asthma, for example — could be impacted, but the general public will not notice the reduced air quality, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Air quality is measured on a 0-to-500 scale. Most of South Carolina is predicted to have a 106 score today. Air quality monitors only issue warnings when scores exceed 101.
The state reports that all parts of South Carolina — sans small sections near Catawba and Myrtle Beach — will be under "Code Orange" conditions for Friday. The situation is mirrored across a large part of the east coast, particularly in urban centers.
Charlotte and Atlanta both are in "Code Red" status today for unhealthy air today, according to AirNow.gov, an EPA-run site. Those conditions typically impact a larger group of the population, including those individuals with sensitivity to poor-quality air.
This weekend's heat wave — expected to push temps above 100 in most parts — is primarily to blame, according to DHEC. July 4 holiday traffic also is a contributor, the EPA reports. The lack of rain or strong winds produce conditions that trap harmful ground-level ozone in the atmosphere.
DHEC advises those with compromised respiratory systems to avoid exertion outdoors, and the rest of the population should avoid contributing to the poor air quality by waiting until after 6 p.m. to cut grass or fill vehicle gas tanks.