Spring is here and that means the return of the ozone forecasting season, which for South Carolina is April 1st through September 30.
As it heats up in the Palmetto state and we drive our vehicles, the exhaust mixes with other pollutants and contributes to ground-level ozone in our atmosphere. Under certain conditions, ozone levels can be high enough that an “Ozone Action Day,” or “orange day” alert, is issued. High levels can adversely impact people who are sensitive to ozone pollution, especially children, the elderly, and those with breathing problems.
Know the ground-level ozone forecast to help you protect your health and your family’s health by:
- Visiting DHEC’s Ozone Forecast webpage during the forecasting season.
- Subscribe to EnviroFlash,which is a free service that provides you with information about the air quality via email or text.
- Check the Realtime air quality for your area on EPA’s AirNowwebpage.
- Understand the Air Quality Index for ground-level ozone to make better informed decisions.
You can also do your part to help reduce ground-level ozone and avoid an Ozone Action Day:
- If you live close enough, walk or bike to work or to run errands.
- Cut down on energy usage.Reducing the amount of energy you and your family use will help reduce emissions in the air.
- Do not idle. Park and walk inside instead of waiting in line at drive-through windows.
- Work a flex/alternative schedule to help reduce mobile source pollution by avoiding driving in peak rush hour traffic.
- Telecommute if your employer supports it and it is conducive for your work schedule and job responsibilities.