Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.
Safety tips when under an air quality alert
COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) — Fighting off the heat is typical at this time of year but the battle can be extra hard for some people.
Wednesday, DHEC issued an air quality alert between 10 a-m and 8 p-m. Those most at risk for getting sick were small children, older adults and people with respiratory problems. And because it’s likely there will be more alerts this summer health officials have these tips:
Opioid crisis: Tega Cay police offer new way residents can safely dispose of meds
TEGA CAY – Local residents who have unused or expired prescription drugs can now safely dispose of them at home.
Misuse of opioid-based drugs continues to impact communities across the country.
So far this year, there have been 13 overdose deaths in York County, eight of which were related to opioids, said York County Coroner Sabrina Gast. Other deaths that are presumed to be overdoses are awaiting toxicology results. There were 550 drug overdose deaths involving opiates in South Carolina in 2016, a 7 percent increase from 2015 and an 18 percent increase from 2014, according to S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control
The rural South’s invisible public health crisis
When Pamela Rush flushes her toilet, the waste flows out the back of her sky blue mobile home through a yellowing plastic pipe and empties just a few yards away in a soggy pit of mud, weeds, and dead grass.
On a hot day in mid-May, Rush walked around her yard in rural Lowndes County, Alabama. Flies and mosquitoes swarmed her as she tiptoed near the pit. The smell of sewage was overwhelming.
Rush, 48, a soft-spoken woman with striking brown eyes, has straight-piped her family’s waste into her yard for almost two decades. Her home is on the edge of clay dirt road in the dense Alabama forest, miles from a municipal sewer system. …
In the rural South, these conditions aren’t uncommon.