EU Industries Highlight Difficulty in Replacing Firefighting Foam
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Kathryn Clay
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EU Industries Highlight Difficulty in Replacing Firefighting Foam

European industries are pressing the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) on the cost, effectiveness, and availability of replacements for PFAS-containing firefighting foam. In comments to ECHA’s Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis’ (SEAC) draft opinion of the proposed restriction of PFAS in firefighting foams, EU industry groups expressed the difficulty of transitioning to foams that achieve the same performance as their PFAS-based predecessors, under the timeline and phaseout scheme laid out by ECHA’s proposed restriction.

ILTA is working with partners to engage with policymakers to ensure U.S. policy includes a well-managed transition period for industry that allows ample time for a coordinated, safe transition to non-PFAS foams. While PFAS-free foams are available for certain industries and applications, additional time is necessary to account for the testing, reengineering, and training needed at the facility level. The military has similar concerns given it has yet to identify any qualified alternatives under its military specifications (Mil-Spec) despite the US Department of Defense (DOD) being prohibited from purchasing any more AFFF after October 1, 2023, and being required to halt all use of AFFF one year afterwards.

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