Air Quality Levels Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups

Carol Foraker of Spartanburg says, “Like an elephant sitting on my chest.”

That’s what it feels like for Carol Foraker when she steps outside on a hot, Summer day in the upstate.

But she says some days are worse than others.

“I have to take my inhaler with me when I go out so that I can breathe a little bit better,” said Forsaker.

One allergist in Spartanburg says younger children are most at risk when temperatures soar.

Emmanuel Sarmiento, allergist at the allergic disease and asthma Center in Spartanburg says “Because you can not stop them. They want to go outside, they want to swim in the pool and you just have to tell them to stay indoors because their lungs are still immature, they are still developing.”

Dr. Sarmiento says he worries about children the most.

“Any ground-level ozone that could be irritating to their lungs could really have some long term damage over time if they are continually exposed to high levels of ozone,” said Sarmiento.

The South Carolina department for health and environmental control forecasted a code orange air quality action day for Wednesday.

But the morning clouds held back temperatures a bit and we did not reach high enough levels of ground-level ozone that were called for by DHEC to get to code orange.

That means it’s unhealthy for sensitive groups, like people with asthma or children.

Most of the day this ozone sensor measured good to moderate breathing conditions in Spartanburg County.

But Doctor Sarmiento says Wednesday’s steamy weather still make it hard for children.

Taylor Leopard of Spartanburg says, “If I run somewhere I start to kinda have breathing problems.”

Sarmiento recommends going to see your doctor if you have any issues.

“We have to avoid outdoors, stay indoors as much as possible and turn on the air conditioning,” said Sarmiento.

Ozone data in Spartanburg County goes back to the 90’s when levels were high into the early 2000’s.

But over the last ten years air quality has improved significantly.

You can help limit air pollution by turning your car off instead of letting it idle, when it gives off the most amount of colorless, odorless pollution.

To check the forecasted and actual air quality where you live just go here:

Air Quality

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