DHEC expected to attend Monday town hall on aluminum oxide found in Goose Creek air | WCIV

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) — A white powder-like substance on cars and homes in Goose Creek has many people questioning the safety of their air quality.

Century Aluminum experienced filtration equipment failures, resulting in the release of Aluminum Oxide. 80 Grit Aluminum Oxide

DHEC expected to attend Monday town hall on aluminum oxide found in Goose Creek air | WCIV

DHEC is actively performing a special ambient air quality assessment in the Mt. Holly Community.

They say Century Aluminum is working to fix the issue and hope to have work done in the next seven to 10 days.

"Starting September 2, I noticed some white spots on the car. A few people in the neighborhood said the same thing. Nobody knew really what it was. So I did a little looking into it, and as time progressed, the spots got heavier and heavier and heavier," Goose Creek resident Nick Marino said.

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Those spots were alumina dust.

According to DHEC, aluminum oxide is classified as a non-hazardous material, but it’s considered an irritant, and exposure can impact people with pre-existing respiratory conditions, like asthma.

"People who have respiratory issues and those types of things can be exasperated by it, so it's not necessarily something that everybody is going to be feeling sick or having issues," Marino said.

Marino says he notified the National Response Center

"That really helped to jumpstart things, and in addition, a lot of people have been filing complaints with DHEC's website for airborne hazards," Marino said.

DHEC has placed ambient air sensors in the community to measure the matter in the air.

The data that can be found online allows people to get a real-time understanding of the air quality.

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"The community can look at it. They're posted online with live feeds logged every 15 minutes, but it shows a live reading of what the levels are so that we people can see kind of get that reassurance that okay, there's nothing currently being released out there," Marino said.

DHEC says as of 4 p.m. on Oct. 5, DHEC’s monitoring data shows there is some matter in the air, but doesn't exceed the regulatory health-based standards for particulate matter, meaning it is normal air quality.

Marino says he and others still have questions.

"Transparency is key, and the biggest thing is if you don't tell people what's going on, people are going to start associating things, and the story kind of gets out of control," Marino said.

A town hall is scheduled for Monday at Goose Creek City Hall at 6 p.m.

DHEC expected to attend Monday town hall on aluminum oxide found in Goose Creek air | WCIV

60 Grit Aluminum Oxide DHEC officials will be there to answer questions and provide updated information.