Charleston area is virtually smog-free

Charleston area is virtually smog-free
November 17 15:49 2016 Print This Article

It took major wildfires in the Blue Ridge mountains to bring a smog alert to Charleston Tuesday. Ashes from the fires swept into our area and coated our air with haze.

Charleston air quality is consistently good, but that was not always the case.  Smog is a term used to describe ground-level ozone, which forms when nitrogen oxides from car exhaust and smokestacks mix with sunlight and trap particles in the air. It was common here in the 1970s and 1980s.

Up until Tuesday, Charleston had not experienced a smog alert since 2011. Despite robust activity at the Port of Charleston and the 18-wheeler trucks moving shipping containers throughout the day, Charleston’s Air Quality Index is rated Good 98.5% of the time and Moderate 1.5% of the time.