BIGCHANGESIN FIRE FIGHTING FOAM
THE EPA 2010/15 PFOA
Traditional Fire Fighting Foam Concentrates are manufactured
using fluorinated surfactants with an Rf carbon chain length between
C6 and C12.
It is now accepted that fluorinated surfactants with an Rf chain length
greater than C6 could potentially break down in water into PFOA (see
glossary). PFOA is bioaccumulative, persistent and toxic.
Fluorinated surfactants with an Rf chain length of C6 or less cannot
break down in the environment to PFOA.
The purpose of the C6 project is to reformulate traditional foam
concentrates using surfactants containing an Rf chain of C6 or less,
while continuing to meet International Fire Fighting Foam performance
standards such as UL 162. This protects the environment by removing
the threat of fluorosurfactants breaking down into PFOA.
In October 2003, a fluorosurfactant working group was formed by the
EPA in the USA and it concluded that:
• The majority of fire fighting foams currently available are
manufactured using fluorosurfactants which have Rf chain lengths
between C6 and C12.
• Fluorosurfactants with an Rf chain length greater than C6 could
potentially degrade and form PFOA and would therefore be
classed as being toxic to the environment.
• There is no pathway for fluorosurfactants with an Rf chain length
of C6 or less to degrade into PFOA.
Changes are happening in the Fire Fighting Foam industry -
perhaps one of the biggest changes since the introduction of AFFFs in 1968.
But what are these changes and what do they mean to you?
THE C6 PROJECT
GLOBAL STEWARDSHIP PROGRAMME ABERDEEN FOAM
THE MOVE TO C6-BASED FOAM
In 2005, the EPA convened what has come to be known as
the 2010/15 PFOA Stewardship Programme.
Under this programme, all fluorosurfactant manufacturers
based in or selling to the USA have committed to withdraw
any fluorosurfactant with an Rf carbon chain length greater
than C6 from the market by 2015.
Currently Europe has no legislation banning the use of
fluorosurfactants with an Rf chain length greater than
C6. However, all fluorosurfactant manufacturers world-
wide (with the exception of some Chinese producers) have
also agreed to commit to the aims of the 2010/15 PFOA
As a result, after 2015 fluorosurfactants with an Rf chain
length greater than C6 will no longer be available to
producers of fire fighting foam concentrates.
To comply with 2010/15 PFOA Stewardship Programme, all
Fire Fighting Foam manufacturers - including Oil Technics
Ltd - will need to:
• reformulate their foam concentrates using
• retest the new foam concentrates to meet
International standards required by the Offshore
Oil & Gas industry, such as UL 162, ICAO Level B
and EN 1568:2008 Part 3
Oil Technics has developed new C6 formulations in 5 of the
6 foam concentrate types commonly used by the offshore
Oil & Gas Industry, all of which have been tested to UL 162.
We also expect to complete the final UL test before the
end of July 2013.
This means we will soon be able to offer a full range of
new C6 foams - two years ahead of the date set by the EPA
2010/15 PFOA Stewardship programme - giving our customers
the immediate environmental advantage over existing
foams and the knowledge of being ahead of the pack.
A foam concentrate
that contains fluoro-
provide AFFFs with the
low surface tension
and positive spreading
enables film forming
on top of lighter fuels.
Oil Technics has now developed, tested, and passed the following
C6-based AFFFs to UL 162 International foam standard :
Foam Concentrate Approvals
1% AFFF-LF-C6 • UL162
3% AFFF-LF-C6* • UL162
1% AFFF-C6 • UL162
3% AFFF-C6 • UL162
3 x 3% AFFF-AR-C6 • UL162
We are also currently developing C6 formulations for the remaining
freeze protected, alcohol resistant AFFFs in our range.
We would like to thank Commander Pete Dennet and his staff at the
Petrofac Fire Training School in Montrose, Scotland, for generously making
available to us the use of their fire testing facilities throughout the
development of our C6 products.
EPA 2010/15 PFOA Stewardship Programme www.epa.gov/oppt/pfoa
UL Listings www.ul.com
Fire Fighting Foam Coalition www.fffc.org
Industrial Fire Hazard Management www.joiff.com
*Testing in progress, June 2013.
Supplied & manufactured by
Oil Technics (Fire Fighting Products) Ltd
Linton Business Park, Gourdon,
Aberdeenshire, Scotland UK DD10 0NH
T: +44 (0) 1561 361515 F: +44 (0) 1561 361001
E: firstname.lastname@example.org E: email@example.com
W: www.foamtesting.com W: www.firefightingfoam.com