Monthly Archives: October 2018

Two Of The Newest Members of SCEEP Doing Their Part To Protect The Environment

DHEC’s Office of Environmental Affairs visited with two of the newest members of the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program recently to talk with managers and staff about the Bridgestone Americas Aiken Off Road Tire Plant and the PSR Plant in Aiken. Both facilities are very involved with their communities and are doing their part towards environmental sustainability.

Aiken Off Road Tire Plant

The Aiken Off Road Tire Plant is the newest Bridgestone Americas facility in Aiken and they are harvesting rain water. Since 2015, more than 16 million gallons of rainwater has been harvested. Total water usage continues to decrease due in part to the rainwater collection as well as using low flow water fixtures, waterless urinals and closed loop cooling. This facility is also recycling 100 percent of its production waste, upgrading LED fixtures and adding occupancy sensors to help reduce energy usage.

The Aiken Off Road Tire Plant also hosts a Community Outreach Event at the Gregg Park Civic Center in Graniteville that is open to children of the Graniteville, Vaucluse, and Warrenville communities.  This event helps promote conservation ad positive community relations with citizens.

PSR Plant

The PSR Plant is using solar energy throughout its facility and many outlying areas use solar exclusively.  Natural lighting in the warehouse is used during daytime hours to conserve energy consumption and in many places interior lighting has been converted to low-energy consuming LED lights.

The PSR Plant has maintained a 100 percent recycle rate for plant wastes and no manufacturing waste is shipped to landfills. This plant is also LEED Silver-certified since 2009 by the Green Building Council. An environmental learning center is on site and located outdoors, complete with a disc golf course, a horseshoe gaming area and walking trails. This center is used by PSR plant teams as well as civic groups, church groups and schools. A bluebird habitat is maintained on site in conjunction with the South Carolina Bluebird Society. A total of 31 bluebird boxes are on site and are monitored weekly by employee volunteers. Over the past 10 years, a total of 1,377 eggs have been in the boxes with 965 young fledge hatching so far.

Congratulations to both the Aiken Off Road Tire Plant and the PSR Plant of Bridgestone Americas for your work towards environmental sustainability. Both facilities will be members of the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program through 2021.

Learn more

For more information on becoming a member of the SCEEP, please contact Rebecca Sproles at or 803-898-3139.

Have A Healthy, Enjoyable Trip To The SC State Fair

scstatefair - fair gate 2

Photo courtesy of the SC State Fair.

The 149th annual S.C. State Fair will soon be open (October 10-21) and attendees of all ages will once again enjoy funnel cakes, live music, and amusement rides. To help ensure you enjoy your time at the fair, listed below are a few health tips to keep in mind while strolling beneath the neon lights of the Midway.

Always Wash Your Hands


  • Before eating and drinking
  • Before and after visiting animal exhibits
  • After using the restroom
  • After playing a carnival game
  • After going on a ride


  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and running water.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if running water is not available.

“Keeping hands clean is one of the most important things we can do to stop the spread of germs and stay healthy.” (CDC, 2017)

Things to Avoid

  • Don’t take food or drinks into animal exhibits.
  • Don’t eat, drink, or place anything in your mouth while visiting animal exhibits.
  • Don’t take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles, or strollers into animal exhibits.
  • Don’t enter animal exhibits if you are experiencing any type of illness, particularly flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat).
  • Avoid close contact with any animals who appear ill.

Things to Remember

  • Eat ‘hot’ foods while they are still hot and eat ‘cold’ foods while they are still cold.
  • Take extra care to observe these health tips when visiting animal exhibits to prevent diarrheal illness and other infections that animals may carry. This is particularly important for certain groups, including:
  • Children younger than 5 years of age
  • Adults 65 years and older
  • Pregnant women
  • People with long-term health conditions such as, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, weakened immune systems, and neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions
  • Seek medical attention if you develop a fever accompanied with cough and/or sore throat, diarrhea, and/or vomiting within several days after visiting the fair.

Following these tips will help prevent infections.  Have fun!


Center for Disease Control Food Safety at Fairs and Festivals

KNOW How to be Safe Around Animals

Take Action to Prevent the Spread of Flu Between Pigs and People

Wash Your Hands

From Other Blogs: Handwashing, mold after a flood, safer food choices & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Protect yourself and wash your hands the right way

Hand washing is the number one way to help prevent the spread of germs and diarrhea-related illnesses. As flu season approaches, it is vital that we make a habit of washing our hands frequently throughout the day. — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

Tips on Cleaning Mold after a Flood

Returning to your home after a flood is a big part of getting your life back to normal. But you may be facing a new challenge: mold. What can you do to get rid of it?  How do you get the mold out of your home and stay safe at the same time? CDC has investigated floods, mold, and cleanup, and offers practical tips for homeowners and others on how to safely and efficiently remove mold from the home. — From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Your Health — Your Environment blog

Help Your Patients Make Safer Food Choices

Every year, an estimated 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. Salmonella and Campylobacter, two of the many types of bacteria that are commonly transmitted through food, can cause antibiotic-resistant infections.

As physicians, we can help patients protect themselves against foodborne illness by talking with them about their risk. — From the CDC’s Safe Healthcare blog

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning Prevention

Every year, at least 430 people die in the U. S. from accidental CO poisoning. Approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency department each year due to accidental CO poisoning. There are steps you can take to help protect yourself and your household from CO poisoning. Change the batteries in your CO detector every six months. If you don’t have a battery-powered or battery back-up CO detector, buy one soon. — From the CDC’s Your Health — Your Environment blog