U.S. Army Billet Alaska has a new ambush up its sleeve in attention accessible safety, bloom and the environment: a specialized foam-free analysis trailer.
The bivouac is advised to annihilate the acquittal of actinic blaze retardant absolute per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs, during testing and training contest at Fort Wainwright. Currently, several blaze trucks and pumpers on the billet use aqueous, film-forming cream as a blaze retardant because it is able for putting out ammunition and aerodynamics fires. Doing so saves lives and protects mission-critical assets.
However, AFFF contains aerial concentrations of two compounds in the PFAS ancestors that are classified as arising contaminants: perfluorooctanoic acerbic and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, accepted frequently as PFOA and PFOS. These chemicals accept been acclimated in a array of automated and customer articles for attrition to heat, baptize and added substances, conspicuously in firefighting foams, and are affiliated to assorted ill bloom effects.
The actual use of AFFF in firefighting and training activities has led to several PFAS-contaminated groundwater plumes in the Fairbanks area. Drinking baptize on USAG Alaska does not accommodate animated levels of PFOA or PFOS, and the baptize antecedent is commonly activated to ensure it is safe for the best acute populations, including nursing mothers and infants.
To anticipate bloom and ecology impacts, no AFFF has been absolved alfresco of emergency firefighting back 2016 per Headquarters Department of the Army policy.
“For absolutely a few years we haven’t been able to do our anniversary testing that we do for the [Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting] trucks, and mostly we haven’t been able to do the AFFF aspect on that, award out if the metering arrangement is alive correctly,” said Chuck Tucker, blaze arch at the USAG Alaska Blaze Department. “So now accepting the cream trailer, we’ll be able to accommodated that anniversary requirement.”
The new foam-free analysis trailer, bogus by NoFoam Arrangement in La Jolla, California, works by aing to a blaze truck’s bond arrangement and barometer breeze ante to actuate if the actual admeasurement of chemical-fire retardant is released. Instead of bond with water, the PFAS-containing band-aid is absent into the trailer’s catchbasin and can be reused. This analysis ensures that all systems are alive accurately and the mix is optimized to bound put out fires while preventing any acknowledgment to the environment.
Phasing out of assembly of AFFF began in 2000, and it is no best accessible for acquirement in the United States. In the a term, USAG Alaska will abide to accumulate AFFF in banal for petroleum-based fires because of its above fire-fighting capability, continued shelf-life, and abridgement of a commensurable artefact that is absolutely PFAS free. Eventually though, it will charge to be replaced by an another product.
Current another products, such as Phos-Chek, currently acclimated at Fairbanks International Airport, still accommodate PFASs besides PFOS and PFOA. This artefact is about advised safer, but bloom furnishings of the added PFASs in it are still actuality studied. The Department of Defense is advance in analysis and development of a PFAS-free cream that can battling the capability of AFFF.
The action for the Foam-Free Analysis Bivouac was the aftereffect of a collaborative accomplishment amid the USAG Alaska Blaze Department and the Directorate of Accessible Works Ecology Division.
“It’s consistently acceptable — the accord of all the agencies on the billet alive together, allowance out for the greater cause,” Tucker said.
The DPW Ecology Division acquired the bivouac as their FY18 abuse blockage activity with the absorbed that the bivouac will be fabricated accessible not alone to the billet blaze departments, but all of the surrounding association blaze departments that accept PFAS-containing trucks acute anniversary testing. This technology is transferrable to all Installation Management Command installations.
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