Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) Status and Alternatives: The Big Picture

Jerry Back

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Mar 11, 2024

Aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) has been the industry standard for combatting liquid fuel fires and hazards for almost 50 years. AFFF is a water-based solution that contains a fluorinated, film-forming surfactant containing per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to seal fuel surfaces during extinguishment. Many PFAS are now classified as forever chemicals that do not naturally break down in the environment, and some have been associated with detrimental health effects. As a result, the ability to use AFFF to extinguish liquid fuel fires continues to be greatly restricted and has been banned in numerous states in the United States and other countries around the world.

In a recent article for Fire Technology Magazine, Jerry Back provides an update on the status of AFFF developments, including the available alternatives and revisions to applicable codes and standards. Jerry has nearly 40 years of experience with fire research, investigations and program development in the industry, serving in principal and alternate roles for NFPA foam committees and leading validation testing for firefighting foams.

Read more on how Jerry and other industry experts are working towards developing safer firefighting products and replacement programs in Fire Technology Magazine.

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About the author

Jerry Back
Jerry Back is one of Jensen Hughes’ top subject-matter experts in the field of fire investigation and prevention. Over the course of his nearly 40-year career as a fire protection engineer and certified fire/fire and explosive investigator, Jerry has been responsible for project management and administration of fire protection research, development, testing, and evaluation programs.