On June 15, 2023, FSSA hosted a webinar on Differentiating PFAS, presented by Paul Rivers, FSSA Honorary Member. Per and polyfluoro alkyl compounds (PFAS) in end use are ubiquitous in society today.  PFAS are essential for modern life to which we are accustomed.  From semiconductors, computers, smart phones, pharmaceuticals, to BESS systems, refrigerants, fire protection foams and clean agents, pipe thread tape, dental floss, our car engines, to even the planes in which we fly, it is hard to imagine life without PFAS.

But, like good and bad cholesterol, there are good and bad PFAS.  Unfortunately, ‘good’ PFAS, comprising the vast majority of the estimated 7,500 to 15,000 materials meeting the PFAS definition depending on the reference, are conflated with the minimal number of ‘bad’ PFAS.  Thus, people mistakenly label the good the same as the bad.  Most notably in the fire suppression industry, ‘bad’ PFAS are the PFOS and PFOA contained in aqueous film forming foam, or AFFF, heretofore in general use.

This presentation gave a technical discussion of how to identify differences of the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ PFAS used in fire protection, how to characterize them in their end use, the current and proposed regulation.

View a copy of the presentation



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