Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF)

DoD’s Efforts to Revise the MILSPEC Standard

Military Specifications (MILSPEC) are the standards used to establish consistency in a product’s characteristics and performance used by the DoD. Products used by DoD for firefighting must meet this standard; if a product does not meet MILSPEC standards, DoD cannot procure or use the product. MILSPEC qualifications – such as those for firefighting solutions - are also used by private industry to select products that ensure a level of safety and performance.

DoD updated the MILSPEC for AFFF to ensure that new supplies available for emergency firefighting responses do not contain detectable levels of PFOS or PFOA. This new MILSPEC for PFAS-free fire suppression will go into effect January 31, 2023. The PFAS Task Force directed the Department of the Navy to focus the MILSPEC for PFAS-free firefighting agents on jet fuel fire performance and low-viscosity agents. Specifically, the memorandum stated that during the MILSPEC development the Navy should:

  • Recognize the maximum credible event is an aircraft crash involving a Jet-A fuel fire, and establish primary performance criteria that minimize the safety risk to firefighters, flight crew, and passengers in the conversion from Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) to PFAS-free agents.
  • Recognize gasoline fires as probable, but less time-critical events, and establish secondary criteria to ensure PFAS-free agents can still effectively extinguish gasoline fires.
  • Establish criteria to ensure qualified PFAS-free agents have viscosities similar to AFFF to minimize the time and cost necessary to change from AFFF to PFAS free agents in existing systems.

For more information about the MILSPEC visit: MIL-PRF-24385.