Environmental fate and effects of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
Report no. 8/16: Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) and Fluoroprotein (FP)/ Film Forming Fluoroprotein Foam (FFFP) foam have been used since the 1960s and 1970s, respectively, for the suppression of class B (flammable liquid) fires at airports, refineries and other major petroleum facilities. In recent years, however, the use of these has been challenged due to concern that certain poly and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) used in their formulation exhibit PBT characteristics (Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic).
While alternative PFAS-free foams are now commercially available, concerns have been raised that these may be less effective for fighting large-scale flammable liquid fires and that other issues such as shelf life, compatibility with conventional application equipment and suitability of different materials for storage have not been fully evaluated.