New technology introduced by State aims to eradicate cancer-causing forever chemicals

New technology introduced by State aims to eradicate cancer-causing forever chemicals

Ohio has launched the nation’s first program aimed at destroying forever chemicals, which are cancer-causing chemicals that have been found in people’s water supply and have been harming firefighters. Richard Sluder, deputy fire marshal for the Ohio Division of the State Fire Marshal, highlighted the dangers that firefighters face beyond just the flames and emphasized the importance of programs like the Aqueous Filming-Forming Foam (AFFF) takeback program in reducing those risks.

The PFAS annihilator is a technology designed to destroy PFAS, which are long-lasting chemicals that break down slowly over thousands of years. These chemicals are often found in firefighting foam, specifically AFFF, that fire departments use. When these chemicals are used, they can seep into the ground and contaminate the local water supply. Governor Mike DeWine banned the foam in 2022, and now efforts are being made to clean up the remaining stockpile of AFFF and PFAS-contaminated materials.

The Ohio EPA has been testing the new technology since 2018 and has made the elimination of forever chemicals a priority. The agency will be hosting collection events in every region of the state where fire departments can safely dispose of their foam. By providing a no-cost solution, the program aims to create safer working conditions for firefighters and safeguard water sources in communities across the state.

Anne Vogel, Director of the Ohio EPA, stressed the importance of following the science and conducting thorough testing to address the issue of forever chemicals. She noted that the EPA will continue to look for contaminated water sources in Ohio and that they are just beginning to scratch the surface of the problem. Anyone with questions about the program is encouraged to contact the Ohio EPA at 614-424-3221 or email

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