Wormald’s proactive stance on firefighting foam contamination

AFFF fluorine free foamAmidst growing concerns over the environmental impact of fire suppressing foams, Wormald is making changes to ensure we have solutions that limit the risk to environmental or human health while maintaining the highest standard of firefighting response.

Since the 1970s, Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFFs) have been used around the world to rapidly supress and extinguish fires. AFFFs are water-based firefighting foam products used to suppress flammable liquid fires by cooling the fire and coating the fuel, preventing its contact with oxygen.

However, in recent years AFFFs containing fluorine have been identified as having adverse impacts on the environment.  Historically, many of these foams include fluorinated surfactants such as PFOA and PFOS, which are part of a broader group of chemicals called PFAS substances. In response, Wormald has been working on migrating to more environmentally sustainable firefighting foams that are fluorine free.

In taking a proactive stance, Wormald has had its vehicle fire suppression system re-approved using environmentally sensitive fluorine free foam. This new environmentally sensitive foam concentrate is used in Wormald’s foam vehicle suppression system, and foam fire extinguishers. The pre-engineered fluorine free foam system has been approved using Solberg foam concentrate and a new Wormald fluorine foam concentrate. Both concentrates meet the performance requirements of the revised Australian Standard for vehicle fire protection, AS5062 – 2016. With only minor modifications to existing systems, such as an increase in cylinder pressure, these new fluorine foam concentrates are essentially ‘drop in’ replacements for the existing Wormald AFFF concentrate solutions containing fluorine.

Fluorine free foams have the distinct advantage that they can be discharged without the need for containment and disposal.  They also avoid the persistent, bio-accumulative and potentially adverse effects that AFFF concentrates can pose. Wormald will continue to develop solutions for customers who are looking to be more environmentally responsible in the firefighting solutions they use and store on their sites.

For more information on Wormald’s commitment to sustainable fire suppression solutions click https://www.wormald.com.au/environmental-management-fire-fighting-foam

Wormald reaffirms its commitment to sustainable fire suppression

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In light of the recent announcement that the Queensland Government has restricted the use of firefighting foams containing PFOA, Wormald has re-affirmed its commitment to providing fire suppression solutions that limit impacts on the environment.

The use of firefighting foams remains an important element of effectively suppressing a fire quickly to help reduce substantial and lasting damage to the environment, people and property. However, Wormald recognises that the use of firefighting foams has impacts on the environment if not properly controlled and that there needs to be a balance between dealing with a fire event effectively using firefighting foams and what impacts to the environment the use of firefighting foams will create. Continue reading

What’s the story with environmentally friendly fire suppression solutions?

By Garry Kwok, National Technical Services Manager at Wormald

InergenWhile there are many things to consider when selecting a fire protection system, environmental considerations have historically taken a back seat.

However, with the growing focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and ozone depleting substances, we are seeing a growing interest in environmentally friendly fire suppression solutions.

The Australian Government introduced legislation with the objective of reducing the amount of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and synthetic greenhouse gases (SGG) emitted into the atmosphere. Under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995 it is an offence to handle ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gas fire extinguishing agents without an appropriate license.  The regulations also deem it an offence to trade in these agents or to have the environmentally damaging agent, Halon, without the appropriate permits and approvals. Continue reading