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Chemical Factsheets

Abandoned Chemical Barrels

Chemical Factsheets

The Health Assessment Section has created many factsheets that aim to inform and educate the public about various toxic substances and chemicals in Ohio. These factsheets answer commonly asked questions about many different toxic substances, including questions like: 

  • How does the toxic substance get into the environment?

  • How can the toxic substance get into my body?

  • Can the toxic substance make me sick? What kind of illnesses can it cause?

  • Can the toxic substance cause cancer?

  • How are children affected? 

  • What regulations exist to keep me and my family safe?

Local health departments are encouraged to print and distribute these chemical factsheets during a public health event in their community where a toxic chemical is involved. 

As new information becomes available or as regulations change, these factsheets will be updated. You can find the date of the most recent updates within the factsheets. 

Expand the menus below to see the different factsheets in each category.

General Factsheets

These factsheets discuss general topics in toxic environmental hazards. 


Chemical-Specific Factsheets

These factsheets discuss a single chemical or toxic substance, or a small group of closely related substances.


Smoke Events Packet

These factsheets discuss smoke from events such as wildfires, large warehouse fires, and gas explosions.


Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Packet

These factsheets discuss the substances in the chemical family known as PFAS. Some chemicals in this family include PFOA, PFOS, and GenX.


On September 27, 2019, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine directed Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to analyze the prevalence of PFAS in Ohio’s drinking water. For information about the Ohio PFAS response strategy, visit pfas.ohio.gov



For additional information about treating your drinking water for PFAS, please visit the ODH Private Water Systems Program page or refer to the factsheets below: 


Mercury Packet

These factsheets discuss mercury and mercury spills.


Methamphetamine (Meth) Packet

These factsheets discuss methamphetamine and meth labs. 


Cancer and Chemicals Packet

These factsheets discuss cancer as it relates to toxic environmental chemicals. 


Power Generating Technologies

The following documents provide summaries of the literature available on wind turbines and wind farms, solar farms and photovoltaic technologies, battery energy storage, and electromagnetic fields (EMF). The documents include an assessment of public health implications for various aspects of these technologies. 


Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

Harmful algal blooms, also known as cyanobacteria or HABs, occur when there is a shallow body of fresh water, warm temperatures, sunlight, and excessive amounts of nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) in the water. HABs can produce toxins that are harmful to human and animal health.

Although HABs are not directly covered by the Health Assessment Section, its staff work closely with the HABs program. For more information on HABs, click here to visit the ODH Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) program page.