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U.S. urges airports to avoid using firefighting foam with fluorine By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Firefighters apply foam to the charred remains of the U.S. Department of Agriculture building. It was closed last week because of threats. The fire broke out at the USDA facility outside of Washington, Maryland. REUTE

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters), – Monday was Monday when the Federal Aviation Administration urged U.S. airports to restrict the use PFAS firefighting foam due to potential environmental and health hazards.

Because they are not easily broken down, PFAS have been linked to various diseases, including cancer. They’ve been in use for many decades in nonstick cooking products like cookware and pots and pans. Many states have banned their use for food packaging.

FAA stated that over 400 research studies have been conducted to evaluate 15 fluorine free firefighting foams. FAA claimed that they “expect a replacement product being identified and ultimately adopted”.

Both the Defense Department and FAA are currently researching alternative solutions to help extinguish an emergency situation or a fuel fire.

“The FAA continues to evaluate firefighting foam that protects the flying public, human health and the environment,” the agency said in a statement.

The FAA was directed by Congress in 2018 to not require fluorinated chemicals for firefighter performance standards.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson stated in August that FAA’s alternate firefighting agent research program was disrupted by the COVID-19 panademic.

It was also stated in the letter that local authorities and communities are pressing airport operators to cut down or eliminate PFAS from their airports. “There is growing concern about the potential health effects and liabilities associated with contamination of airports by PFAS.

Since 2019, the FAA has taken several steps to effectively eliminates the need to discharge firefighting foam that contains PFAS except during an actual aircraft emergency.

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