DHEC Advises Residents Stay Away from Smoke Associated with Carolina Poly Fire in Chester

COLUMBIA –  The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) advises residents to stay away from the smoke generated by a fire currently burning at Carolina Poly, a plastics manufacturing plant located in the city of Chester in Chester County.

Local officials are responding to the fire and can provide details about the incident.

“Odor is a primary indication that individuals need to move away from the vicinity of the fire,” said Rhonda Thompson, Director of DHEC’s Bureau of Air Quality. “For anyone near the industrial fire who can smell smoke or notice an odor that is not normally present, we recommend you temporarily leave the area.”

The chemical content of smoke varies depending on what is being burned, and industrial fires are different from wood fires. Smoke is made up mostly of particles, and no matter what’s burning, the small particles within smoke aren’t healthy to breathe. While larger particles are filtered out by the nose and upper respiratory tract, small particles can enter the lungs. People with pre-existing lung or heart disease are at higher risk for developing symptoms from breathing in smoke particles.

The direction of smoke can change quickly depending on wind direction and speed.

Residents in the area should adhere to the guidance of local officials and follow their local news outlets for updates and information.