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Public safety concerns: Question Fluorine Free Foams (F3s) suitability

Mike Willson, firefighting foam, and foam systems specialist, talks to International Airport Review about the questions over the suitability of PFAS-Free Foam alternatives.

The quest and challenge to replace Per- and PolyFluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) in AFFFs (Aqueous Film Forming Foams) for firefighting, by using PFAS-Free Foam alternatives, better known as Fluorine Free Foams (F3s), seems to be reaching fever pitch, as timelines for anticipated replacements draw closer. Yet, necessary F3s fire performance still seems increasingly elusive, without clear evidence of adequate, reliable, effective capability under realistically tough conditions. Manufacturers have made huge F3s efforts delivering incremental improvements over 20 plus years, but without the safety equivalency necessary to justify the major transition many are seeking. It’s frustrating of course, but increasing evidence confirms this gulf between requirement and what is possible, and remains stubbornly significant, potentially jeopardising lives.

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