This line of storms will move into the area later this evening.
GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) — People who live in Goose Creek have been complaining for weeks about a white powder-like substance in the air- identified as alumina dust. Alumina Oxide Powder
They said it’s been covering their cars and homes, and even making it hard to breathe.
Monday night, Goose Creek residents heard from health and environmental experts for the first time about the issue, and their plan to fix it.
They were also able to ask representatives from Century Aluminum and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) questions
Some told News 4 before the meeting started they were just looking for transparency.
“First, we’re sorry. I understand your concerns and frustrations, but we also appreciate your patience. We will fix this issue,” said Dennis Harbath, the plant manager at Century Aluminum.
Century Aluminum said the release of alumina dust in Goose Creek first happened because of accelerated bag failures. They said they’re replacing the failed bags and expect their action plan to take 10 days to solve the problem.
Read More: White dust emitted into Goose Creek from Century Aluminum plant; officials respond
But people who live in the area are still concerned.
“I’m exhausted all the time, I get headaches, you know, my eyes burn. It’s just been a total nightmare,” said Jackie Davis Pfister.
Pfister lives in Goose Creek, and people like her who have preexisting conditions like asthma are worried about long-term effects.
“Before I never really had to use my inhaler except for when I was sick or overexerted myself, that was the only time I used it, but now it’s just a regular basis, three to five times [per day],” she said.
Read More: Goose Creek residents grapple with alumina dust from local aluminum plant
DHEC said there is a certain type of aluminum oxide particles they’re keeping their eye on.
“What we were most concerned about is actually the smaller particles that you could actually breathe in and actually get into your lungs. So, for that reason we did put out some air sensors,” said Rhonda Thompson, the Bureau of Air Quality chief for DHEC.
But she said the readings from their sensors have been very low so far.
Other questions came from the crowd: Why didn’t the plant shut down when the leak first happened? And, how will aluminum oxide affect animals, and not just people?
Read More: DHEC confirms 2023 season's first flu-related death in SC
But Monday’s experts said they couldn’t answer some of those questions, leaving many frustrated.
Statistics from the DHEC air sensors and the area’s current air quality can be found on DHEC's website.
Alumina Powder Price People can also go to mthollyupdates.com for more information from Century Aluminum, including how the plant is working to solve this issue.