"PFAS-Free Firefighting Foams: Are They Safer?"

"A small-scale certification effort could offer a path forward."

"In the 1960s, researchers from the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory began testing a new class of firefighting foam that could rapidly extinguish fuel fires.

The foams, dubbed aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), were a boon to firefighters. Special perfluorinated chemicals gave AFFF unique hydrophobic and surfactant properties, allowing it to rapidly seal over burning fuel and prevent reignition once a blaze had been extinguished. By the 1970s, AFFF was in use at most military bases, airports, refineries, and many civilian fire departments around the world.

Over the next several decades, AFFF was used to both fight actual fires and to train firefighters on practice fires. It often was left to soak into the ground after use. AFFF is still in use today."

Lindsey Konkel reports for Environmental Health News May 19, 2020.

Source: EHN, 05/20/2020