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Fluorinated Firefighting Foams Doused in South Australia

Feb. 1, 2018, 1:47 PM

Fluorinated foams can no longer be used for firefighting in South Australia after the state government banned their use, saying the main chemicals in them contaminate water resources.

The amended policy prohibits the use of firefighting foams that contain fluorine and makes it illegal to fill a fire extinguisher with a foam product containing compounds of the chemical.

Of particular concern are foams containing perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which fall into a family of chemicals known as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These compounds rapidly disperse into the environment through surface water ...