Latest Fire Service Dept Announcement bulletin highlights AFFF manufacturers’ history

March 12, 2024

Historical timeline of AFFF production by key companies

The latest Fire Service Department Announcement Bulletin has brought attention to the historical production of Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) by prominent manufacturers.

An updated chart, stemming from a 2017 study, has been included in a recent issue of ‘Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry,’ which details the timeline of AFFF manufacturing from the 1970s to the 2020s.

U.S. Department of Defense’s new AFFF specifications

In light of evolving safety and environmental standards, the U.S. Department of Defense is introducing two separate MilSpecs for AFFF usage in land and salt-water based applications.

Foam Exposure Committee Co-Chair Vicki Quint remarked: “The Department of Defense MilSpec for firefighting foam is used for FAA airport certifications, i.e., Cert 139.”

Regulatory landscape for fire department AFFF use

Quint also noted a crucial aspect of AFFF regulations affecting fire departments: “There are no regulations requiring a fire department to use AFFF.”

This statement clarifies the autonomy of fire departments in choosing firefighting foams, amidst ongoing environmental concerns associated with AFFF.

FSJA Comment

The recent bulletin underscores the significance of understanding the historical context of AFFF use across various fire safety applications.

The Department of Defense’s decision to craft distinct MilSpecs for different operational environments signals a forward-thinking approach to firefighting efficiency and environmental responsibility.

The announcement also serves as a reminder to fire departments nationwide that the choice of firefighting foams remains at their discretion, informed by local policies and the latest in fire suppression technology.

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