Extent of PFAS Contamination Resulting from a Fire at a Hazardous Waste Incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio

Grants and Contracts Details


Extent of PFAS Contamination Resulting from a Fire at a Hazardous Waste Incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio On June 27, 2022, a hazardous waste incinerator that was receiving and incinerating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in East Liverpool, Ohio caught fire. The fire is a great cause for concern for this environmental justice community due to the potential for increased contamination from the hazardous waste incinerator across their community and the surrounding area. PFAS have been referred to as “forever chemicals” represent a large group of synthetic chemicals, including PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and include approximately 5000 different compounds. Our research team has a longstanding research partnership with the community, and recently (December 2020 and 2021) collected and analyzed soil for PFAS. Thus, we have pre- fire/baseline PFAS soil concentrations enabling our team to evaluate the environmental impacts of this time-sensitive disaster. We propose the following specific aims: Aim 1: Characterize post- fire PFAS soil concentrations at the same locations as previously collected and identify geospatial patterns in concentrations to discern differences pre- and post-fire. Aim 2: Determine the extent of PFAS exposure in the community by measuring PFAS in drinking water, home dust, and blood samples from individuals who live in close proximity to the incinerator to begin to identify the route of exposure to PFAS exposure in the community. Aim 3: Engage the community throughout the process. We will work through our existing partnerships to inform residents of the study, host community meetings, and provide report-back materials to both community and individuals. We will also develop a website to keep the community informed about the process. This study will provide key information for community members, regulators, and scientists about community exposure following a fire disaster at a hazardous waste incinerator.
Effective start/end date6/8/235/31/25


  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: $306,299.00


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