Midlands residents were warned today that breathing Wednesdays outside air may be harmful to their health and that they may want to limit time outside.
According to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, the air in Richland, Lexington and Kershaw counties is forecast to have increased ground-level ozone concentrations that could harm residents lungs.
"When ozone levels are elevated, active children and adults as well as people with respiratory diseases, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion," said Myra Reece, chief of DHEC's Bureau of Air Quality.
"Ground-level ozone is formed when hot, dry, stagnant weather conditions exist. When that happens, emissions from vehicles contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone."
Reece urged residents to do things like car pooling, staying inside for lunch and avoid excessive vehicle idling which means that residents should consider actually going inside fast food franchises instead of using their exhaust-producing cars and SUVs in lengthy food lines.