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Environmental group calls on state to ban the use of PFAs firefighting foams, citing alternatives


A Michigan environmental policy group is calling on the state to transition to PFAs-free firefighting foams.

The Ecology Center of Michigan is calling on the state to ban PFAs firefighting foams completely.

PFAs are a family of chemicals found across the state and linked to health problems including cancer. The chemical has been used in a variety of firefighting foams.

Jeff Gearhart is with the Ecology Center. He said a new third-party certification process has made it easy to find PFAs free firefighting foams.

“It really provides a great tool to provide purchases and users of these products confidence that they aren’t just relying on manufacturers claims. This is an independent and third party review of these products.”

The certification process is through Clean Production Action, which analyzes chemicals of concern to human health to find safer alternatives.

Gearhart said the Ecology Center is notifying the state of a new third-party certification process that guarantees foams are PFAs free. That includes PFAs compounds not currently regulated.

“That’s the other benefit of the standard in that it provides the assurance that companies are not switching to another PFAs compound that is not regulated.”

Michigan is currently working to take back PFAs fire fighting foams from fire departments to dispose of them safely. But, there are no requirements that departments return these foams.

Gearheart said the new certification process means Michigan should ban PFAs-foams altogether.

“We’re urging the state of Michigan to move forward with perminatnly restricting the use of PFAs containing firefighting foams.”

According to Gearhart, there are currently four companies with firefighting foam products that don’t contain PFAs.