The Foam Exposure Committee (FEC) is leading research into PFAS chemicals found in firefighting foam and how to best protect firefighters and the environment from these harmful substances. It has recently released of fluorine testing data on firefighting foams, with FEMA advising to replace older stocks of AFFF with fluorine-free foam solutions1
Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) continues to be used by fire departments throughout the United States. The Foam Exposure Committee is releasing the following testing results which reports the total averaged level of fluorinated chemicals by category found in current commercial firefighting foams.
Research continues to assess reduction of fluorinated chemicals in AFFF to minimize risk to firefighters. Certain PFAS can accumulate and stay in the human body for long periods of time. Long-term exposure in high concentrations results in a buildup of PFAS within the body. This buildup may have negative health effects like an increased risk for thyroid disease and testicular, kidney and bladder cancers.
The US Fire Administration recommends replacing older AFFF stocks with fluorine-free foam solutions. C6 products tested higher in total fluorine content than AFFF and MilSpec. According to the Department of Defense, the MilSpec no longer requires fluorine2. There are no regulations that require the use of fluorinated firefighting foams in public fire departments.
For more information, go to www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/index.html