PFOS in fire extinguishing agents

As we learned, 3M™’s manufacturing of fluoro-chemicals is based on an electro-chemical process producing perfluorooctanyl sulfonates (PFOS) which serves as starting product of numerous final products and traces of which were found in the blood of humans. The fluorinated agents utilized by us are manufactured by means of a telomerization process where tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) is used as raw material for further products. According to information by our suppliers none of their toxicological studies indicates that products produced by their telomerization process are found in human blood. None of the foam concentrates manufactured by us contain PFOS - based surfactants and therefore are not affected in any respect by the 3M™ measure.

PFOS ban by the European Parliament

At the end of October 2006 the European Parliament (EP), after a first-reading, adopted a draft bill seeking to ban the use of PFOS. The corresponding press release stated, amongst other things -

Environmentally harmful PFOS will be phased out

PFOS are used in the manufacture of numerous consumer goods and many industrial applications, for example making textiles, carpets and paper resistant to water, fat and oil. This, however, gives rise to concern as PFOS is a very persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic substance. The Parliament and Council reached a compromise to Phase out the use of PFOS, enabling them to enact the directive under the first-reading.

We would like to take this opportunity to inform you that there are NO perfluorooctane compounds that contain PFOS used in Dr.Sthamer Foamousse Fluoroprotein and Sthamex AFFF fire extinguishing foams, our suppliers of fluoro-surfactants are not expecting any restrictions or bans on the use of fluoro-surfactant raw materials.

All Dr.Sthamer Fire Fighting Foams can be used safely and responsibly now and in the future.

Even products which were manufactured with PFOS containing substances, e.g. 3M™ extinguishing foams, can be used for a further transition period of 54 months, after the directive enters into force. (See press release of the European Parliament of 25.10.2006.)

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