Reuters urges US airports not to use fireproof foam with flights

ছবি Photo from Reuters file: Firefighters burned to ashes at a USDA complex outside Washington in Beltsville, Maryland, USA last week.

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it has asked U.S. airports to limit the use of fire-fighting foam with chemical PFAS due to environmental and public health risks as it evaluates possible alternatives.

PFAS, nicknamed “Forever Chemical” because they don’t break down easily, has been linked to a variety of ailments, including kidney cancer. They have been used for decades in nonstick cookware, stain- and water-resistant textiles, rugs, food packaging, photo imaging and industrial products. Many states have already banned their use in food packaging.

The FAA said more than 400 research tests have been completed that evaluated 15 fluorine-free fire-fighting foam products. The FAA said it expects a replacement product to be identified and eventually adopted.

The FAA and the Department of Defense are researching alternatives to extinguishing fuel fires or other emergencies.

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

In 2018, Congress A instructed the FAA by October 2021 that “the use of fluorinated chemicals is not required to meet fire performance standards.”

FAA Administrator Steve Dixon noted in an August letter that the FAA’s alternative firefighting agent research project was affected by disruptions caused by the Kovid-1 pandemic epidemic.

The letter added that “airport operators are under considerable pressure from state and local governments and local communities to reduce or eliminate the use of PFAS at airports”. “There are significant and growing concerns about the impact on human health and liability related to PFAS pollution at and around airports.”

Since 2001, the FAA has taken a number of steps to effectively eliminate the need for fire extinguishing foam containing PFAS without a real aircraft emergency.

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