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Below we present our Products and various insights related to fluorine, PFAS substances, and the use of fluorine in the firefighting world



The extinguishing agent is 100% free of PFOS, PFAS AND PFOA chemicals.


The extinguishing agent is 100% free of PFOS, PFAS AND PFOA chemicals.

The foam used as an extinguishing agent is easily biodegradable and environmentally sustainable


The foam used as an extinguishing agent is easily biodegradable and environmentally sustainable

Also suitable for extinguishing lithium batteries, depending on model, and fires derived from oils in the kitchen


Also suitable for extinguishing lithium batteries, depending on model, and fires derived from oils in the kitchen


The "Fluorine Free" product line are the 6-Liter ABF Fluorine Free foam portable fire extinguisher models 22066-91 and model 22066-915, also tested for extinguishing fires caused by lithium batteries with 36 V, 750 W/h, 20.1 Ah capacity.

In the new fire extinguishers, the foam used as the extinguishing agent is totally fluorine-free, is free of PFOS, PFAS and PFOA chemicals, and is healthier, biodegradable, environmentally friendly and sustainable. They also have dual certification, UNI EN 3-7, for land and marine use. The production process meets the controls of EN 3-10, which makes us even more proud.

Fire Extinguisher 6 Liters Fluorine-Free Foam - ABF Class

Model 22066-91

Fire Extinguisher 6 Liters Fluorine-Free Foam - ABF Class

Fire extinguisher 6 L fluorine-free foam - ABF class, tested for extinguishing lithium batteries

Model 22066-915

Fire extinguisher 6 L fluorine-free foam - ABF class, tested for extinguishing lithium batteries

Fluorine-free ready-to-use foaming agent (FFX 150) in 6-liter or 25-kg containers

Codes 2594-1 and 2594-2

Fluorine-free ready-to-use foaming agent (FFX 150) in 6-liter or 25-kg containers

Contact us

Contact us

For technical or commercial info go to the CONTACT


Below we present various insights related to fluorine, PFAS perfluoroalkyl substances, and the use of fluorine in the firefighting world:

The History of FLUORINE

Fluorine is the chemical element in the periodic table of elements with atomic number 9 and symbol F. It represents the most electronegative element in the periodic table; it is the only element that can oxidize oxygen.

The term "fluorine" was coined by André-Marie Ampère and Sir Humphry Davy in 1812 and derives from the early uses of fluorspar as a fluxing agent. Fluorine salts are called fluorides.

Fluorine, in the form of flouride, was described in 1529 by Georg Agricola for its use as a substance that promotes the melting of metals or ores. In 1670 Schwandhard discovered that glass was etched when exposed to acid-treated fluoride. This element was not isolated until many years later because when separated from a compound it immediately attacks the materials of the equipment with which the synthesis is made.

On the 26th of June 1886, French scientist Henri Moissan isolated elemental fluorine for the first time. Moissan carried out electrolysis of anhydrous hydrofluoric acid containing trace amounts of potassium fluoride in a platinum cell with platinum-iridium electrodes.

Nerve gas constituted the first use of fluorinated chemical compounds for military purposes. Like many poisonous gases, it was capable of releasing considerable amounts of fluoride into the body, causing brain damage (IQ reductions and mental retardation), pulmonary and cardiac depression to death if taken in excessive doses.

Since its discovery, elemental fluorine F2 was not produced in large quantities until World War II, when it proved indispensable in uranium enrichment.

PFAS: cosa sono?
Che cosa è il fluoro?

What is fluorine?

Fluorine is a gas that condenses at -188 °C into a yellow-orange liquid and solidifies at -220 °C to give a yellow solid, then returns to white in the transition phase at -228 °C.

The low binding energy of a fluorine molecule, the low stability of the F-F bond and the high electronegativity of atomic fluorine make fluorine a powerful oxidizing gas.

It is the most reactive of all the elements: fluorine reacts explosively with hydrogen, even in the dark and at low temperatures. Glass, metal, water and other materials can burn with bright flames if hit by a jet of fluorine gas. Fluorine is always composed of other elements, especially silicates, which is why it cannot be prepared or served in glass containers. Because the heat of reaction is very high, reactions between pure fluorine and organic compounds are often accompanied by fire or violent explosion of the mixture. This reaction is accompanied by splitting and polymerization.

Reactions between fluorine and aromatic compounds typically produce degraded bitumen, polymers, unstable unsaturated compounds, and highly fluorinated cyclohexane derivatives, but not aromatic compounds. At room temperature, fluorine reacts violently with most metals to form fluorine. Many metals, including aluminum, copper, iron and nickel, form adhesive and protective surface films composed of corresponding metal fluorides, allowing the metal itself to be used for gas storage and handling. Therefore, fluorine is stored as compressed gas (pure or diluted) in 40-liter cylinders at a pressure of 30 bar. Because of its strong oxidizing power against metals, the cylinders must be handled with care, otherwise the thin passivation layer could peel off and the metal of which the cylinder is composed could ignite.

Fluorine reacts with water and captures a proton, forming its precursor (hydrofluoric acid) and the oxygen bifluoride OF2. In an alkaline environment, oxygen difluoride is slowly reduced to oxygen and fluorine.

PFAS: what are they?

PFAS contamination is an unresolved and out-of-control health and environmental problem..

In Italy, which has the highest rates of PFAS contamination in continental Europe, politicians have decided not to act on the issue despite its impact on water, food and health.

These substances are used because of their ability to repel fats and water due to their multiple carbon bonds, as well as their high stability and resistance to high temperatures. However, this connection is also the reason for their extreme persistence in the environment. Therefore, they are called "eternal pollutants." Their use has allowed these substances to invade every corner of the globe. Unfortunately, even our bodies are not immune to this contamination. Recently, traces of PFAS have also been found in rainwater. Here there is a real risk of abrupt changes in terrestrial ecosystems, with unpredictable consequences. As a result, PFAS are present almost everywhere (from water to food, including air). Moreover, these substances are bioaccumulative, meaning that once ingested they tend to remain in our bodies for a long time (several years). In humans, PFAS have been found in blood, urine, placenta, umbilical cord and breast milk. Today a child can be born with an indelible mark. Exposure to these substances can cause many adverse health effects, including thyroid problems, liver and immune system damage and more. Despite this evidence, only a few of the thousands of substances belonging to the PFAS group are regulated by the Stockholm Convention. Something is moving at the European level, however: in recent months, five nations (Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Sweden) have asked EU bodies to ban the use and production of these substances.

Guida allo spegnimento di incendi provocati da Batterie al Litio
Quali sono le restrizioni sui PFAS in Italia?

What are the restrictions on PFAS in Italy?

In 2014, the Ministry of Health published target levels determined by the National Institute of Health as:

PFOS 30 ng/l PFOA 500 ng/l Other PFAS 500 ng/l


PFAS in Veneto region

In 2013, the results of experimental studies on potential "emerging" pollutants, conducted in the Po River Basin and major Italian river basins by the National Research Council and the Ministry of the Environment, showed that the presence of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in groundwater, surface water and drinking water was found in Italy.

Water samples for human consumption were also taken for the study in more than 30 municipalities in the province of Vicenza and neighboring areas in the provinces of Padua and Verona. The investigations show widespread contamination by perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), in varying concentrations, in some areas of the aforementioned provinces. Information on the presence of these substances can be found in the report of the NRC Water Research Institute.

The area affected by perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination covers about 180 square kilometers in a vast territory between the provinces of Vicenza, Verona and Padua, with an estimated population of about 300 thousand inhabitants. In this territory, some 30 municipalities are also facing drinking water contamination, whose water supplies are heavily contaminated with PFAS. Currently, in order to comply with the objective limits set by the Aeolian Region according to the guidance of the Iss, these centrally managed towns have had to equip themselves with an activated carbon filtration system, a very expensive system. Filters must be changed every 4 months to the detriment of air conditioning. 600,000.00 euros annually.

Many households in the area do not have aqueducts and obtain water for domestic use and irrigation from private wells, many of which are heavily contaminated with these substances. The Veneto Region has issued a decree that private wells must also comply with the same limits set for irrigation water, which is why the use of many private wells has been banned. In the municipality of Sarego (Vi) alone, after analysis, 73 percent of the wells analyzed were found to be outside the established limits and were therefore declared unusable. A similar situation occurs in nearby cities.


PFAS in food are dangerous because they contaminate water and soil and then accumulate in the human body through nutrients.

Their use is equivalent to the proliferation we find in the environment, just like microplastics.

Foods with the highest levels of PFAS are difficult to separate. These substances can be found in fruits, vegetables, starchy roots and tubers, algae, cereals, nuts, oil seeds, foods for infants and young children, foods of animal origin, soft drinks, wine, and beer.

As of January 1, 2023, Regulation (EU) 2022/2388 amending Regulation (EC) No. 1881/2006 Regulation on the maximum content of certain foodstuffs applies.



Fluorine is not essential for humans or other mammals, so it is not necessary to take it through food, however, it is known that small doses are particularly useful for strengthening tooth enamel (where the formation of fluoroapatite makes tooth enamel stronger). better resistance). attacked by acids produced by bacterial fermentation of sugar), which is why most toothpastes on the market have the presence of this element in their composition. Small amounts may also contribute to bone strength, although these are actually applications that are still being researched. but the latter is not clearly established.


Fluorine for teeth

Since the mid-20th century, although for reasons still not fully understood, it has become clear that Fluorine has the ability to reduce the risk of developing tooth decay. Because the teeth's ability to heal is limited, especially in cases of advanced caries, fluoride is an effective weapon in the fight against demineralization. It also appears to hinder bacterial growth, which is instead promoted by the presence of sugar. It should be emphasized, however, that this effect is limited to topical application (directly in the mouth, such as through toothpaste, chewing gum, or children's tablets).

To reduce the incidence of acne in the population, some countries have chosen to add controlled saline fluoride to drinking water in the public water supply; in the United States, for example, water is routinely fluoridated, while in Italy no law has been passed on the subject. Although to date there is no evidence of risks or contraindications, and on the contrary evidence of its efficacy (at least in the less affluent segments of the population), water fluoridation has always been considered a controversial issue, mainly for ethical reasons. To the same end, most toothpastes contain fluoride, for example, in the form of:

To maximize effectiveness, you should:

What about bones? Although they are also often mentioned to promote bone health and prevent/cure osteoporosis (they stimulate the growth of osteoblasts, inhibiting the activity of osteoclasts, which leads to increased bone mass), so far the scientific literature on this use is still acknowledged. contradictions remain, perhaps also because of the very short duration of treatment (at low doses fluoride has a significant effect on bone tissue, but in excess it can, on the contrary, cause skeletal fluorosis).

With natural exposure to fluoride (in normal amounts through food, water, and toothpaste), there is currently no conclusive evidence of a possible health risk. However, occasional cases of dental fluorosis do occur in children who have been overexposed to the substance during development, a condition characterized by the development of very fine pearly white lines (or stains) on the tooth surface; Only in the most severe cases is actual discoloration of tooth enamel observed. However, these are relatively remote possibilities in countries where drinking water is continuously monitored (including for fluoride levels). Ingestion of extremely high amounts of fluoride (e.g., from dental products or dietary supplements) can cause nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, bone pain, and death in severe acute poisoning. However, long-term exposure to fluoride can cause skeletal fluorosis, a rare disease that causes joint pain and stiffness, bone fragility, loss of muscle mass, and neurological disorders.


Fluorization of water

Water fluorization is the method of adding or removing fluoride ions in water to maintain fluoride levels and reduce the incidence of dental disease in the community. This method is used in several countries around the world and is popular in North America and Australia; In particular, it is estimated that 66 percent of water supplies in the United States contain fluoridated water. However, according to some conspiracy theorists, this practice is carried out to harm the physical and mental health of the body in order to create habits and control the population.

The use of Fluorine to prevent tooth decay was widely discussed in 19th century Europe, thanks to the research of Dr. Frederick McKay, Dr. F. Smith and Dr. G. Black, who promoted the invitation to the medical and dental community to open an office in what was then "Colorado Scrub." In 1908, after examining 2,945 children, Smith and Black noted that a high percentage of patients had discoloration or staining on the surfaces of their teeth. All of the children affected by these plaques were from the rural Colorado Springs area near Pikes Peak. Despite these unusual stains, these children were found to have fewer cavities than children not affected by these color problems. McKay reported the problem to dentist Greene Vardiman Black, thus sparking interest in the phenomenon.

Several studies conducted between 1920 and 1930 linked fluoride concentrations in water to the prevention or onset of dental disease; These studies showed that increasing fluoride levels in water reduced the incidence of tooth decay in children, but at the same time increased the number of patients with discolored and yellowed teeth. In addition, for concentrations greater than about 1 mg/L (i.e., 1 ppm) as fluoride concentration increased, there was no further decrease in the occurrence of dental caries, so the value of 1 mg/L was considered to be the optimal value with regard to dental health. . In particular, from some studies in 1931, researchers concluded that the cause of the phenomenon was the high concentration (up to 2-13.7 ppm) of Fluorine ions in the region's drinking water, while in areas with lower concentrations (1 ppm or less) there were no cases of spotting. The cause of this high concentration of fluoride in the water is the presence of rock formations (Peak Mountain) containing a mineral, cryolite, consisting mainly of fluorides. Continuous atmospheric precipitation in this area has dissolved the mineral, carrying it into the rivers of the region, enriching the groundwater with these compounds. Dr. Greene Vardiman Black (left) and colleague McKay (right) as they study the "Colorado Point" Because it involves high fluoride intake, the condition described by McKay is called "fluorosis."

Further research has been conducted to determine more precisely the level of the concentration of Fluorine that is safe for health and effective in preventing the occurrence of tooth decay. Specifically, in 1934, a study on this topic was conducted by Henry Trendley Dean, a U.S. Public Health Service official. His study on fluoride was published in 1942 and included assessments of about 7,000 children from 21 cities in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. The study concluded that the optimal level of fluoride that can minimize the risk of severe fluorosis and prevent dental caries is 1 ppm.

Fluorization of water

What's going on in the world?

The South African government officially supports the fluoridation of drinking water. In Brazil, about 45% of cities have fluoridated water. Government studies have reported caries rates in the population ranging from 40 to 80 percent. In Chile, 70.5% of the population receives fluoridated water (10.1 million registered, 604,000 natural supply). Israel has applied fluoridation since 1981: according to 2002 data, more than 2 million people received fluoridated water (about 1/3 of the population).

As of May 2000, 42 out of 50 U.S. cities were using fluoride. According to a 2002 study, 67% of Americans consume fluoridated water. As of 2001, it was found that 75% of the population receives fluoridated water. Based on data received from the CDC, water fluoridation also occurs in domestic and foreign waters in the United States.

Fluoridation is often found in cities with provincial governments. Brantford, Ontario, was the first Canadian city to introduce water fluoridation in 1945. The city continues to fluoridate its water to this day. Most European water supplies are not fluoridated. For mineral waters, the 2003 directive, 2003/40/EC, requires the indication of fluoride concentrations above 1.5 milligrams/liter. However, it does not impose limits on the concentration of fluoride that may be present in commercial water. The maximum limit recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) is 1.5 milligrams/liter. Germany does not allow fluoridation of drinking water according to German Federal Ministry of Health regulations. German law allows exceptions to the fluoridation ban. Germany shares the use of fluoride salts with France and Switzerland. In Italy, artificial fluoridation of water has never been practiced. Although doctors recommend fluoride for pediatric patients, there are currently no laws on the subject; the only measure is Legislative Decree No. 2 of Feb. 2001. 31, transposing European Union Directive 98/83/EC. The decree stipulates a maximum fluorine concentration in drinking water of 1.5 mg/l, in line with what is stated in the directive. Soils of volcanic origin are characterized by the highest fluorine concentrations existing in nature. In Italy, values above the norm have been found in municipalities around Mount Vesuvius, in some areas of Lazio, and in the Castelli Romani.



At the end of February, ECHA published a status report indicating that further consultation was still needed on fluorine-containing fire extinguishers. To this end, a six-month consultation period began in March, during which you can contribute additional views and relevant ideas. Therefore, there are still no clear results regarding transition, replacement or phasing out. The final restriction proposal is expected to be submitted to ECHA in January 2023. European countries such as Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden are mainly implementing restrictions on all PFASs, which also affect fire-fighting foams currently in use.


PFAS - The underestimated poison of the century

It is difficult to imagine consumer products free of PFAS, given their waterproof, grease-resistant and dirt-resistant properties. But only in recent years have the risks associated with these substances, which are considered persistent, harmful to health and the environment, emerged. PFASs can cause many chronic diseases and are suspected of being carcinogens. Some of these fluorides have been banned for many years. However, because of these disturbing findings, efforts are underway to restrict all PFASs. If possible, alternative products should be used.



Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) will be banned in the EU from 2020. PFOA does not decompose in the environment and has spread worldwide. This chemical is toxic to humans and causes reproductive harm. More importantly, we have now succeeded in banning PFOA. The original proposal for a ban was made by the Federal Environment Agency in cooperation with Norway.

The ban regulates the production, use, marketing and import of PFOA, salts and their degradable derivatives of PFOA, also known as precursor compounds. PFOA and its precursors are characterized by very specific properties. They impart water-, oil- and dirt-repellent properties to the surface and are therefore used in a variety of ways, for example, in textile finishing and paper finishing. They are also often contained in fire-fighting foams used to extinguish liquid fires. The disadvantage is that, because of its many uses, PFOA has spread to all environmental compartments. PFOA is extremely stable and does not degrade in the environment. This is how it accumulates in living things. Negative effects of PFOA have also been observed in humans: PFOA is harmful to reproduction and has hepatotoxic effects. People ingest PFOA through contaminated food, air, dust, or drinking water. According to the European chemicals regulation SCOPE At the initiative of the Federal Environment Agency, PFOA was identified in 2013 as a chemical of special concern and added to the REACH candidate list.

Many companies have been looking to alternatives. Those still using PFOA and precursors can take advantage of the transition period until 2020 to use more environmentally friendly substances. But the federal environmental agency warns: other perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) can be just as harmful. Short-chain PFCs have a similar shelf life to PFOA and can easily pollute waterways because of their mobility: they are therefore not substitutes for PFOA. Several European authorities, including the Federal Environment Agency, are currently evaluating this so-called C6 or C4 chemical. Authorities found such short-chain PFCs in groundwater in Rastatt, Baden-Württemberg. Fountains were shut down.

In addition to PFOA, many other perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals are available in the EU. The Federal Environment Agency, together with Sweden, is currently developing proposals for restrictions on PFCA C9-14, which are perfluorocarboxylic acids with a carbon chain of 9 to 14 atoms. As with the restriction on PFOA, precursor compounds should be banned. Germany is expected to submit a draft ban to the European Chemicals Agency in the fall of 2017.

Additional information on PFOA restrictions: If PFOA, its salts or precursor compounds are included as a component of another substance, in a mixture or product, such as those used in waterproofing sprays, textiles and food packaging, a limit value of 25 ppb (corresponding to 25 µg/l) for PFOA and its salts and 1000 ppb (1000 µg/l) for precursor compounds.



Early experiments with fluorine-free foam date back to the 1920s, but the proliferation of plastics and high-energy fossil fuels required higher levels of fire resistance. Fluorine surfactants, discovered in the 1960s, confirm this claim with today's AFFF foam, which extinguishes Class B fires quickly but not without problems. Indeed, it is recognized that the substances in this foam have a negative impact on health. We are talking about PFOA and PFOS present in long-chain carbon foam products that are resistant to natural degradation. The first EU restrictions began in 2009 with the Stockholm Convention banning PFOS and its by-products. As of July 2020, concentrations above 25 ppb are no longer allowed.

Now that short-chain PFAs are also being researched, so-called C6s are specifically formulated to make them even more environmentally friendly. With regard to fluorine-free foam, in 2000, firefighters began an intensive search for a foam that had a lower environmental impact and similar performance to AFFF foam. The first success, in fact, of a foam without fluoride was developed by Ted Schaefer who worked for 3M on May 16, 2000. It meets ICAO standards, especially for US performance. Subsequently, Thierry Bluteau together with BIO-EX developed the first 100% fluoride-free foam in 2002, bringing it to European fire safety standards with resistance to heat and polar solvents, high extinguishing performance and fire resistance.


Chemicals in fire-fighting foam: ECHA agrees with progressive restriction

The ECHA Socioeconomic Analysis Committee (SEAC) has adopted a final opinion in support of the phased ban of per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances in fire-fighting foams. This restriction could reduce PFAS emissions to the environment by around 13,200 tonnes in 30 years. In March 2022, the European Chemicals Agency proposed an EU-wide restriction on all per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances in fire-fighting foams. This restriction will avoid increased contamination of groundwater and soil, as well as risks to human health and the environment.

However, in terms of the proposed restrictions on the marketing, use and formation of PFAS in fire-fighting foam, SEAC recommends that before the end of the 10-year transition period alternatives are available that do not contain fluoride for sites where hazardous, treated or stored substances (covered by the Seveso Directive) and adjacent sites are produced. Similarly, there is a need for a review of the use of offshore installations in the oil and gas industry, for which the SEAC recommends extending the transitional period from five to 10 years. The Commission considers that these assessments are important for maintaining safety in places where fires can have significant impacts on the environment and human health.

SEAC also recommends this type of extension: the transitional period for the use of foam in civil transport is between three and five years on the placing on the market of certain types of portable extinguishers within a period of 6 to 18 months. The aim is to ensure that technically adequate alternatives without fluoride are available at the end of the transition period.

ECHA is working on proposing restrictions to the European Commission after the adoption of the SEAC opinion. The Commission will then decide whether it is necessary to limit the use of these substances. In this case, they will submit a proposal to amend the list of restrictions in Annex XVII of the REACH Regulation. The proposal will be voted on by EU Member States in the REACH committee and examined by the European Parliament and the Council before being adopted.

ECHA was asked by the European Commission to investigate the environmental and health risks posed by using PFAS in fire-fighting foams in March 2022. The Agency concluded that a restriction at European level would be justified because the risks posed by the PFAS are currently not adequately controlled and emissions must be minimised. Fire-fighting foam containing PFAS has caused many cases of environmental contamination in the EU, both in soil and in drinking water. All PFAS or their degradation products are highly persistent and some are known to be harmful to human health or the environment. The combination of sustainability and hazardous potential means that it is important to minimise further releases of these substances to reduce the likelihood of irreparable damage in the future.

ECHA assessed the advantages and disadvantages of five different approaches to PFAS risk control in fire-fighting foam. The proposed alternative would prohibit the marketing, use and export of all PFAS contained in fire-fighting foam after use or during industry-specific transition periods. These transition periods will give the industry time to replace foams containing PFAS without compromising fire safety. During the transition period, those still using PFAS foam should ensure that environmental emissions are kept to a minimum. Expired foam and all foam waste must also be disposed of properly.

Gli agenti estinguenti

Extinguishing agents

Foam is an excellent extinguishing agent for fire class A and B solid and liquid materials.

Foaming agents are divided into:

• Synthetic foaming agent

• Synthetic fluorine foaming agent

• Universal foam

• Fluorine-free foaming agent

Synthetic foaming agent: These are foams obtained by synthesizing surfactants and synthetic stabilizers. The created foam is compact and smooth, suitable for all subjects type of expansion (low, medium, high). Hydrocarbons and flammable liquids are suitable for fire use.

Synthetic fluorine foaming agent: These are foams created by combining fluorinated surfactants with synthetic surfactants, stabilized to improve the technical properties, especially the sweetness. They are called Foaming Water Film (AFFF)" because during the drainage phase they form a liquid "film". to separate fuel and oxidizer. Used at medium-low expansion levels, they are suitable for rapid interventions on large areas.

Called AFFF AR, these are common types of foam that can be used for fire fighting. hydrocarbons and alcohol. They can be used at low expansion levels and medium fires in the petrochemical industry (acetone, alcohol, paints) But how exactly does the foam behave during the actual discharge process?

The structure of the foam, as we have mentioned, is created by types of active mixtures water-air-foam Characterization of the initial concentrate and mixture. This way we can have different results.

The ratio of concentrated foaming solution to water allows foam to be generated. Foam can be generated. Each foaming agent must be adapted to the respective nozzle.


What is the fluorine content in conventional foam extinguishers?

The use of fluorinated substances enhances the film-forming properties of foam extinguishing agents and greatly enhances their ability to extinguish fires, particularly class B (liquid fires). A very thin film forms between the liquid and the foam. In fire A, fluorosurfactants can reduce surface tension much more than other additives in concentrated foam. This allows the foam to penetrate the thin structures better and faster.

In addition, fluorosurfactants ensure that concentrated foam has a water-repellent effect in liquids.

Advantages: the liquid film is more stable, durable and unbreakable.

These properties effectively prevent the escape of flammable liquid gases. Fluorinated compounds belong to the PFAS group.


Prohibition of the use of PFAS in fire-fighting foams

PFAS are substances that have attracted the attention of many regulators over the years. From the food sector to the environment, the use of PFAS is increasingly regulated.

PFAS is a group of thousands of substances widely used in many industries. A particular feature of these substances is that they are highly persistent in both living organisms and the environment.

They are very worrying for consumers.

Many of these substances have already been banned or restricted in many European countries and beyond. Some foreign countries have banned its use in packaging materials. Denmark has already banned its use in food paper for some time.

The European agency ECHA has proposed to ban the sale, use and export of PFAS in fire protection foams as part of its campaign to protect human health.

The limitation document published on 23 February 2022 highlights that it is not possible to adequately manage the impacts caused by the use of PFAS in fire-fighting foams.

The proposal is to impose a limit of 1 ppm for PFAS in fire-fighting foam.

In addition, several transition periods are foreseen, as follows:

- For municipal firefighters, 18 months, except where they are also responsible for industrial fires in establishments covered by the Seveso Directive.

- For municipal firefighters, 18 months, except where they are also responsible for industrial fires in establishments covered by the Seveso Directive;

- For civil vessels, three years.

- 5 years for portable fire extinguishers,

- 10 years for establishments covered by the Seveso Directive;

- 5 years for other purposes.

ECHA has stated that it will be open for observation for a period of six months from 23 March 2022. There is therefore still a long way to go before the final decision, scheduled for 2023, when the SEAC will deliver its opinion, while the RAC will deliver its opinion as early as the end of 2022. However, it is good to monitor the consultation and start thinking about viable, safer and equally performing alternatives to PFAS.


Fluorine and PFAS foam disposal

Current legislation on PFOA, in force since July 2020:

- 1.Regulation (E1U) 2017/1000 on PFOA, its salts and related substances.

- 2.Regulation (E1U) 2020/784: inclusion of PFOA in Annex I to Regulation (EU).

- Regulation (E1U) 2020/784 on persistent organic pollutants: inserts PFOA in Annex I of the Regulation (EU).

The previous exemption for foam extinguishing agents is no longer valid.

PFOA and its precursors cannot be produced or placed on the EU market. From this date, mixtures or products may contain:

- PFOA up to 25 ppb (= 0,025 mg/kg)

- Up to 1000 ppb (1 mg/kg) of all precursors in total.

Until 4 July 2025, the use of PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related compounds in class B extinguishing agents shall be permitted only when used in equipment containing mobile extinguishing agents.

The use of PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related compounds in Class B extinguishing agents is permitted in mobile (including fire extinguishers) and stationary equipment.

Only for use in mobile (including fire extinguishers) and fixed applications under the following conditions

- Not for use for training purposes

- For test use only if all released quantities are collected.

- After 2023, use will be limited to cases where all volumes released can be recovered.

In practice, the use in fire extinguishers is almost impossible.

After 5 July 2025, the use of fire-fighting foam subject to regulation will no longer be allowed.

The use of fire-fighting foam subject to regulation will no longer be allowed. The product must be disposed of as hazardous waste.

- Storage quantities greater than 50 kg must be reported.

- The prohibition applies to products stored on premises.