Waxhaw Fire Department becomes first to destroy toxic fire foam with new tech

  • Source: Spectrum News 1
  • Published: 09/19/2022 12:00 AM

Firefighting foam for a long time contained PFAS, called “forever chemicals” because it does not degrade in the environment. It’s also suspected to cause cancer in firefighters who have to use it to put out fires mainly involving jet fuel, gasoline or diesel. Fire departments around the country have been retiring their old foam, called AFFF, in favor of new foams that aren’t toxic to people and the environment. But the problem remains: what to do with these hundreds of gallons of old foam sitting around in fire departments. In North Carolina, the Office of the State Fire Marshal told departments to inventory all their old foam and report to the state if they had to use it, according to Waxhaw Fire Chief Gregory Sharpe. “We found all the foam we had at both stations, moved it all to our main station, tucked it away and were just waiting for some kind of guidance on how to get rid of it,” he said.


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