Fluorine-Free Foam Flows to U.S. Air Force Bases as DoD Removes PFAS From Firefighting Activities

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Two firefighters spraying fluid onto a fire in a training exercise
Source: U.S. Army photo by Georgios Moumoulidis

May 16, 2024 | Originally published by Air Force Reserve Command on April 5, 2024

U.S. Department of the Air Force installation fire departments are replacing current stocks of aqueous film forming foam, or AFFF, in fire and emergency services vehicles with a fluorine-free formulation as part of a Defense Department-wide effort to remove PFAS from firefighting activities.

The Air Force has committed $8.55 million to purchase more than 270,000 gallons of the new fluorine-free foam, or F3. Overseas installations were the first to receive the new foam, and Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., took delivery in early January.

AFFF is a fire suppressant used in the past by industry, commercial aviation, and military services to combat fuel fires. The foam contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. PFAS do not break down easily in the environment and have been shown to accumulate in the body, and some studies suggest exposure to high levels of certain PFAS may lead to adverse health outcomes.

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