After a scare of possible water contamination, the New Zealand Defence Force is conducting tests on drinking water at the Ohakea air base.

It has found the water is safe to drink, despite contamination of surrounding groundwater by the PFAS chemicals once used there by staff for firefighting. Staff haven't been tested for exposure to the chemicals, a Defence Force spokesman said.

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Tests for measuring levels of the chemicals were not routinely available.

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The spokesman said because the long-term health impact of PFAS compounds was uncertain, it was best to minimise exposure.

The chemicals are used in everyday household products like furniture protectants and floor wax.

More information is available on www.mfe.govt.nz/pfas