b'ENVIRONMENTAL YTZ15 be compatible with vehicles secondary agent, and PFAS is carcinogenic and harmful to human health. It was undergo testing on the airports specific ARFF equipment tobasically a no-brainer to make that transition, he says. It wasnt ensure proper proportioning at each discharge port. about being first in North America. It was about making the right The 2019 exemption opened the door for Chief Smith, andchoice for our firefighters, the public and the environment. he promptly assembled a team to research products that wouldFinding an Alternativetake YTZ into more environmentally friendly territory.PFAS are often referred to as forever chemicals because they We had to meet all requirements to take advantage ofare indestructible man-made compounds that build up in the the exemption, he specifies. We finally found a productenvironment. Compounding the issue, they are common in [SOLBERG RE-HEALING RF3] that met our needs and many consumer goods (food containers and wrappers, clothing, moved forward. solvents, non-stick cookware, etc.) as well as aqueous film-The regional airport that traditionally serves 2.8 millionforming foam (AFFF) used to fight fires. passengers began using fluorine-free ARFF foam in 2019,Exposure to PFAS is linked to certain cancers, thyroid and blazing a trail for other airports to potentially follow.liver disease, asthma and other serious health conditions, Smith, who has since moved to a new position at anotherprompting governments throughout the world to limit their use.Canadian airport, jokes that the foam transition at YTZ hasChief Smiths search for viable, more environmentally benign become his claim to fame. But in all seriousness, he stresses,firefighting foam was an uphill battle because there were not it was definitely the prudent course of action. AirportImprovement.comOctober 2023'