Ohio and states nationwide are faced with challenges related to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which have been manufactured and used for years in everyday items such as nonstick cookware, water-resistant clothing and personal care products. PFAS have also been widely used in firefighting foams, at military installations and fire training facilities. PFAS are classified as contaminants of emerging concern, meaning that research into the harm they may cause to human health is still ongoing.
In an announcement on September 27, 2019, Governor Mike DeWine directed the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to develop a statewide PFAS action plan to analyze the prevalence of these substances in Ohio’s drinking water. Under this plan, Ohio EPA is coordinating sampling and analysis through contracted environmental firms and certified laboratories of approximately 1,500 public water systems statewide. These systems provide water to cities, mobile home parks, schools, and daycares and serve approximately 90 percent of Ohio’s population. Sampling will be ongoing throughout this calendar year and Ohio EPA has a goal of having all sampling completed by the end of 2020.
Ohio EPA and ODH are also closely coordinating on outreach and educational materials for residents on PFAS, including health-related information and steps to reduce potential exposures. A state website has been set up to provide stakeholders with information about PFAS at pfas.ohio.gov. We encourage you to visit this website for helpful information about PFAS and reducing your exposure risks.