PFAS in firefighting foam

Class B firefighting foam – also known as Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) – is designed to extinguish fuel or flammable liquid fires.  Some AFFF formulations contain PFAS.

MDH and MPCA have evaluated places where PFAS may have been released to the environment, including fire training facilities where special PFAS foams were reportedly used, chrome plating plants, wastewater treatment plants, and landfills. Although PFAS have been detected at many of these locations, most do not pose a risk to public health.

In 2019, the Legislature passed a law requiring that any class B firefighting foam containing PFAS that is used on a fire must be reported to the State Fire Reporting System within 24 hours. Use of PFAS-containing firefighting foam for testing and training is generally prohibited. The law is set to take effect July 1, 2020.