Perfluorinated compounds - firefighting foam

 
Aqueous film-forming form (AFFF) and other fluorinated foams contain perfluorinated compounds and are commonly referred to as PFAS. These foams are frequently used during fire suppression and firefighting training activities. Some PFAS, including PFOA and PFOS, may pose a risk to human health. PFAS are currently unregulated by the EPA or State of Colorado.
 
What are the next steps if we think AFFF was released into the environment?
Aqueous film-forming form (AFFF) and other fluorinated foams contain perfluorinated compounds and are commonly referred to as PFAS. These foams are frequently used during fire suppression If you believe AFFF was released into the environment during training or fire suppression, you may want to determine the extent of contamination. Sometimes these releases can result in contamination of surrounding soil, groundwater, surface water and potentially drinking water. You may want to determine the water sources at and near the site. You can work with your water provider and local public health agency to develop a sampling plan to test and investigate whether PFAS have entered drinking water supplies near your facility. 
 
Who do we contact if PFAS is found in water sources at or near the site? 
If PFAS was found in water samples taken at or near your site, please contact your local public health agency for further discussion. Additional resources and information can also be found in the resources section below. 
 
Can AFFF still be used in fire related activities?
Yes. Firefighting foams are an important tool to protect human health and property from fire threats. Please refer to the ITRC fact sheet to develop proper management and usage strategies to prevent possible releases to the environment that can lead to soil, groundwater, surface water and potentially drinking water contamination. Additionally, we advise against the use of fluorine containing foam for training purposes unless it is properly contained. 
 
Should a firefighting agency seek alternatives to using AFFF?
Yes. Please consider using fluorine-free Class B foams as appropriate. 
 
Where or how can AFFF or other fluorinated foams be safely disposed? 
Contact the foam manufacturer for instructions on the proper disposal. 
 
Resources