Friday, June 9, 2017

Safety of fire-fighting foam questioned 16 years ago

Foam used on oil tank fire in England - BBC video footage
Military installations are grappling today with the toxic legacy of fire-fighting foam containing PFOS and PFOA but red flags already were being raised in 2001 at a meeting of foam-industry manufacturing representatives. 

Kyle Bagenstose reports for the Bucks County Courier-Times:

More than a decade before drinking water supplies in Bucks and Montgomery counties were found to be contaminated by firefighting foams used at three military bases, the foam makers and the military were privately discussing and debating the dangers the foams presented.
That’s according to a series of documents reviewed by this news organization, including the authenticated March 2001 minutes of a meeting of foam manufacturers.
Firefighting foams that broke down into unregulated, toxic chemicals PFOS and PFOA were sold to the military from 1970 to 2015 and used at hundreds of bases across the country -- including the local bases. In recent years, they have become a nationwide focus for the Department of Defense, which is phasing out the foams and searching for contamination.
But alarm bells were already ringing at the 2001 meeting of the National Fire Protection Association’s Technical Committee on Foam. The association is a trade group that creates national standards and codes for firefighting equipment and protection.

Read the full story here 

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