First Qualified Fluorine-Free Foam (F3) Announced

September 12, 2023 | DoD PFAS Task Force

The Department of Defense (DoD) announced the first qualified fluorine-free foam (F3) for use, initiating the replacement of fluorinated Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) for firefighting activities at military installations.

Earlier this year, DoD announced the Military Specification (MILSPEC) for F3 firefighting agents to replace the use of AFFF for land-based applications at military installations. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) developed the F3 specification and is overseeing the qualification of new products. Several F3 products are currently undergoing qualification testing to ensure conformance to the MILSPEC, and DoD continues to provide funding for multiple research, demonstration, and validation projects for F3 via the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) and the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP).

The F3 MILSPEC includes a limitation on PFAS content that prohibits DoD from procuring fire-fighting foam that contains in excess of one part per billion of PFAS. The MILSPEC requires laboratory testing of F3s for specific PFAS content as part of product qualification, with a “non-detect” result required to pass the test. Additionally, manufacturers are required to provide written certification that their MILSPEC-compliant product contains “no intentionally added PFAS.”

During the transition period from AFFF to F3 on military installations, both AFFF and the new F3 agents may be used concurrently for emergencies. The Department will continue to implement all response and reporting requirements for AFFF as directed per the PDASD(EI&E) memorandum, “Response and Reporting of Aqueous Film Forming Foam Usage, and Accidental Releases/Spills on Military Installations and National Guard Facilities.”

See Frequently Asked Questions related to the MILSPEC for additional information.

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