Air Toxics Unit

Air Toxics

On Aug. 3, 2006, an amendment of Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 3704.03(F) became effective as a result of Senate Bill 265 of the 126th General Assembly. The newly amended statute identifies the requirements for reviewing new and modified air contaminant sources with air toxic emissions. Prior to this, Ohio EPA had an "Air Toxics Policy" often referred to as "Option A." The newly amended statute incorporated the use of Option A into law and it also required that Ohio EPA promulgate a list of toxic air contaminants that would fall under this review requirement. On Dec. 1, 2006, Ohio EPA's list of toxic air contaminants became effective in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 3745-114-01. Ohio EPA toxicologists recommended 303 compounds for the toxic air contaminant list based on a review of scientific evidence available. Below, you will find useful information regarding air toxics in general and Ohio EPA's regulation of air toxics.

Air Toxics Regulation

Air Toxics Fact Sheet

Air Toxics Studies

Air Toxics Monitoring

Residing within the Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC) and under the Air Monitoring Section is the Air Toxics Monitoring Group (ATMG), which is responsible for all ambient air toxic monitoring tasks.

The primary agenda of the ATMG has been the development of a broad-based air toxics monitoring program covering all the DAPC District Offices and the Local Air Agencies in the State of Ohio. The emphasis of this program has followed general guidelines recommended by U.S. EPA for the development of an Urban Air Toxics Monitoring Program (UATMP). The sampling and analytical procedures and methodologies used in the UATMP were compiled by U.S. EPA in the Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Toxic Organic Compounds in Ambient Air. Under these guidelines, Ohio EPA DAPC has concentrated its efforts on establishing methods and procedures for monitoring the following groups of compounds:

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) - examples:  benzene, chloroform, styrene, toluene. etc.
  • Heavy metals - examples:  arsenic, cadmium, chromium.
  • Semi-volatile organic compounds - examples: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlorinated pesticides, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxins.

The main focus of the ATMG has been on monitoring ambient air concentrations of these groups of pollutants in large populated/industrial urban areas such as Cleveland and Cincinnati. These urban monitoring efforts are intended to determine the overall air quality of these areas related to the monitored toxic pollutants. Unfortunately it is difficult to make meaningful health assessments for such large areas based on the limited data that has been collected.

In addition to those broad urban studies, several specific monitoring projects have been conducted in smaller communities, such as Dayton, Lima, New Boston and East Liverpool. These projects have concentrated more on specific areas or sources and have produced data that can be used to define the air quality for a more localized area.

Overall the ATMG has developed a fairly comprehensive air sampling capability for the toxic pollutants upon which it has chosen to concentrate its efforts. These capabilities are basically confined to sample collection followed by extensive laboratory analyses. The ATMG is the laboratory liaison and coordinates the analysis of lead samples and almost all non-criteria pollutant samples for DAPC. Real-time field sample analysis capability is more limited.

The ATMG sampling program has included a number of projects focusing on several different efforts:

  • Urban air toxics
  • Source monitoring
  • Emergency episode monitoring
  • Complaint investigation
  • Cross media pollution monitoring
  • Great Lakes deposition monitoring
  • Post remediation monitoring
  • Emission verification

To accomplish these tasks, the ATMG utilizes a variety of sampling and monitoring devices. The equipment inventory includes stainless steel canisters for the collection of VOCs, automated samplers, portable meteorological stations, global position locators, a portable gas chromatograph, and a number of other instruments devoted to or modified for air toxics sampling or monitoring.

For further details on ATMG projects or copies of completed reports, please contact Phil Downey.

The Air Quality and Pediatric Health in Ohio study is a comprehensive, health-based study evaluating the impact of air pollution on children and the general population in Ohio. Please note that the date this study concluded is 2000.

Air quality data was obtained from Ohio EPA and newly created monitoring sites at elementary schools in Columbus, New Albany and Athens, Ohio. Health information data was obtained from the Ohio Hospital Association, local hospitals (emergency room admissions), and non-invasive medical monitoring at the three elementary schools. The three components of the project include a prospective analysis of air quality in the region and the corresponding impact on respiratory health, a retrospective analysis of air quality across the State and the corresponding impact on respiratory health, and an analysis of ambient, indoor, and personal air toxic concentrations.

Air Toxics Contacts




Koval, Paul

Supervisor, Air Toxics

(614) 644-3615

Phil Downey

Air Toxics Monitoring  (614) 644-3624

McClure, Diane

Environmental Specialist, Air Toxics (614) 644-4835
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