Aqueous film forming foam, also known as AFFF, is a tool that has been used in the firefighting industry for many years. In fact, it was used for over 50 years, not just by them but also by commercial airports and military bases. What we have discovered, sadly, is that this foam is actually quite dangerous to those who have been exposed to it. Today, we are going to cover why aqueous film forming foam is so dangerous to people.
First of All: What is Aqueous Film Forming Foam?
Aqueous film forming foam, or AFFF, is a product that is used by certain staff in the military, as well as airport firefighters. The purpose of this product is to put out petroleum-based fires. With this foam, the fire gets cooled down, and then the fuel gets coated so that the fire can’t gather oxygen, which ultimately prevents the fire from setting ablaze again.
There are two main chemicals that make up AFFF, and these chemicals are perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), both of which have been used by the United States for many years, even decades! Both of the aforementioned chemicals fall into the more general category of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and PFAS chemicals not only accumulate as time goes on, but they never break down, hence earning the title “forever chemicals”.
Possible Ways that AFFF Can Be Dangerous to People
Since the chemicals in aqueous film forming foam build up over time, people who get exposed to the chemicals in AFFF repeatedly will eventually start experiencing negative side effects. There have been studies conducted that indicated that PFOS and PFOA could cause immunological, reproductive, and developmental effects to various lab animals. In some instances, tumors were said to develop in lab animals too.
Some research has also suggested that if people are exposed to the chemicals found in AFFF for a long enough time, those people will be at higher risk to develop various kinds of cancer. Such varieties include bladder, kidney, prostate, pancreatic, breast, and testicular cancer. There are additional harmful effects that impact women specifically, including lower fertility and lower birth weights for infants. On top of that, thyroid hormone disruption and compromised immune systems can also be byproducts of being exposed to AFFF.
Let AEG Environmental Dispose of Your Aqueous Film Forming Foam Today!
Our team can dispose of all kinds of hazardous substances, and now, we dispose of aqueous film forming foam for fire departments across the states of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Contact us today if you would like to ask for services from our team. We’ll be happy to help you!