Being outdoors this summer can be great for exercising, cooking out, sunbathing, or doing some much-needed gardening. Whatever activity you decide, understand that mosquitoes and other disease-carrying insects are outside with you.
DHEC works in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor mosquito populations for diseases that can be spread to humans. Local governments also play a key role in protecting citizens through spraying and cleanup efforts. Click here to find a listing of local mosquito control programs.
Sundress and shorts season has officially begun. Are you protected? According to the 2018 South Carolina Health Assessment, melanoma of skin (skin cancer) is the 5th leading cause of new cancer cases in the state (see below).
Did you know that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States with nearly 5 million people treated each year? Skin cancer is caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and other sources such as tanning beds. Anyone can get skin cancer, but it can be cured if found and treated early. Talk to your doctor if you notice any unusual moles or changes to your skin.
Whether you are taking a trip to the beach or doing some much-needed gardening, it is important to protect your skin from the sun.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are some tips to keep in mind:
Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours
Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs
Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck
Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block UVA and UVB rays
Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) or 15 or higher, and both UVA and UV protection
Avoid indoor tanning
Being in the sun does not have to be worrisome. Just make sure you protect yourself. Visit the CDC for more fun safety tips and follow their hashtag #SunSafeSelfie for pictures of people all over the world who are taking action to protect themselves from the sun – and having fun while doing it!
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) — It’s officially beach season in Myrtle Beach and with that comes water advisories. However, officials with the South Carolina Department of Health say bacteria in the water advisories don’t mean the beach is closed for swimming.
Did you know that cigarette litter is the most common type of marine debris found on South Carolina beaches? Cigarette butts are a toxic form of marine debris. Most cigarette filters are made of thin plastic fibers called cellulose acetate, a material that degrades very slowly. Plastics exposed to sunlight and waves break down into smaller and more numerous microplastics, which may never fully degrade in the marine environment. Birds, fish, and sea turtles may ingest cigarette butts or other plastic debris along the coast, which can lead to choking, poisoning, or blockage of the gut. Leaching of toxic materials from cigarette butts can also degrade water quality. Various metals, including lead and nickel, have been found to leach from smoked cigarettes within 24 hours, which may increase the risk of acute harm to local marine life. In a laboratory study, a concentration of one cigarette butt in one liter of water killed half of all fish exposed, within 96 hours!
In 2015, DHEC OCRM conducted a Cigarette Litter Reduction Pilot Study on Folly Beach in Charleston County. The project was funded by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and included partners from the Surfrider Foundation and Folly Green. The goal of the project was to reduce cigarette litter on Folly Beach by educating residents and visitors about the negative effects cigarette litter can have on the marine environment. Foldable paper ashtrays and flyers printed with educational information were distributed, and new cigarette receptacles were installed at several beach walkovers on Folly Beach. Small-scale monitoring events were designed to look at the amount of cigarette litter on the beach before and after project implementation. Results of the monitoring efforts found fewer cigarette butts in the study area after project implementation, suggesting this pilot project may have influenced human behavior.
Last year, DHEC’s project was replicated in the Grand Strand by the Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium (CWSEC). CWSEC and its partners took a watershed-based approach to enhance public awareness and promote proper disposal of cigarette butt litter at beach and river accesses in Horry and Georgetown Counties. Similar to the Folly Beach study, the Grand Strand Cigarette Litter Reduction project focused on public education, installation of new cigarette receptacles, and cigarette litter monitoring. Results of the project can found on the project website.
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – A new partnership announced on Wednesday will help the Palmetto State prepare for the unknown, just in time for the 2018 hurricane season.
This, after Samsung announced a $35,000 donation to Harvest Hope Food Bank. The money will go specifically to providing disaster-relief meals during emergencies to families who require special medical needs.