South Australia has become the first state to ban potentially hazardous fluorinated foams used for firefighting.
The foams, which contain compounds that do not disintegrate over long periods of time, pose a threat of contamination to waterways and groundwater.
Once used in a number of manufacturing processes and to extinguish fires, the foams were largely phased out in recent years.
Under changes to the state’s Water Quality Policy, foam suppliers would be required to provide certification of fluorine concentrations in their product.
Environment Minister Ian Hunter said the Environmental Protection Authority would assist in implementing the ban.
“The EPA will work directly with industry needing to transition through licensing guidelines and the development of environment improvement programs,” he said.
“The ban on fluorinated firefighting foams will effectively negate further environmental and human health risks associated with their use and provide the community and industry with certainty around the use of these products.”
There will be a two-year transition period for non-handheld applications, while handheld extinguishers must comply upon refill.
*Original article online at https://www.sbs.com.au/news/sa-first-state-to-ban-fluorinated-foams