David White - IFW Letter to US House of Representatives / PFAS Task Force
Representative Dan Kildee
203 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Kildee,
I just learned that you are co-chairing a PFAS Task Force to address the potential regulation of PFAS used in firefighting foams. I would like to take this opportunity to share information with you on the cost to our country if fire-fighting foams are to be required to be PFAS free.
For the past 33 years I have dedicated my expertise and resources to provide industrial fire and emergency responders with information about the best practices and resources available to do their jobs safely and effectively. I’ve been involved as a neutral expert to test firefighting foam effectiveness as ethanol fuels were required to be transported across the nation because it cannot be delivered from production to distribution by pipelines.
I’ve also worked closely with other experts to study Boilovers that can result when crude fuel storage tanks are not extinguished in a timely and safe manner.
Today fuel storage tanks are larger than ever, containing valuable resources for every consumer’s benefit. When a fire occurs involving one of them the consequences can be catastrophic if not responded to with the right resources including effective firefighting foam, foam application practices and tools.
I’ve enclosed a copy of my book, Disasters Man-Made that captures major fire incidents I’ve covered in Industrial Fire World Magazine. I encourage you to take time to read the stories beginning on pages 48 and 94. I hope you will take time to appreciate the challenge industrial fire fighters face. I’ve also enclosed our most recent issue of Industrial Fire World with feature stories from experts on the history of firefighting foam evolution and intense efforts on the part of manufacturers to find ways to improve it’s environmental safety and effectiveness.
The best solutions come from community partners working together to minimize the negative effects while optimizing the positive effects of firefighting foam. Require plans for runoff control during a fire and for research on best practices for cleanup rather than scaring everyone to run for a big class action lawsuit. I’ve yet to see documentation of specific cases in significant volume to confirm the claims of the damages of PFAS in firefighting foam. The only research we know about showed that if rats were consistently give enough of it they could not produce enough cholesterol to live.
These firefighting foams encapsulate the fuels to control flammable vapors and expand the wetting power of water used to fight the fires.
Thank you for your time to hear my position and hopefully read the documents I’ve provided for a well informed decision that considers both sides of the issue. I welcome your questions.
David White, President
Industrial Fire World