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  1. #1
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    Question Looking for 3M Fire Fighting Foam - Help?

    Hi all,

    I'm a scientist, not a firefighter, but I thought I'd post to see if someone who reads this forum can help me. My organization deals with historically contaminated sites, and we are conducting a laboratory study of fire fighting foams (a.k.a. aqueous film-forming foams, or AFFFs).

    As some of you may know, the major historical producer of AFFFs was the 3M company. However, they stopped producing AFFFs around 2000, due to health concerns regarding the presence of two chemicals, PFOS and PFOA, in the mixtures.

    In our research, we are analyzing new and old AFFFs to see what chemicals they contain, so we can better anticipate what types of chemicals will be present at AFFF-contaminated sites.

    Here's our problem: We can obtain stock of the current-use AFFFs, but we have not been able to track down any of the old 3M stock. This is product that hasn't been produced for about a decade, and most have replaced their old stock with the more environmentally friendly products. It is likely, however, that there are pails or large containers of the old stock out there. We only need a small amount to do our analysis.

    The product goes by a few names, but is usually referred to as:

    "3M AFFF" or "3M Light Water"



    If anyone has some of this stock, or can point me in the right direction, please let me know by replying or sending me a PM. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for your attention.


  2. #2
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluorine View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm a scientist, not a firefighter, but I thought I'd post to see if someone who reads this forum can help me. My organization deals with historically contaminated sites, and we are conducting a laboratory study of fire fighting foams (a.k.a. aqueous film-forming foams, or AFFFs).

    As some of you may know, the major historical producer of AFFFs was the 3M company. However, they stopped producing AFFFs around 2000, due to health concerns regarding the presence of two chemicals, PFOS and PFOA, in the mixtures.

    In our research, we are analyzing new and old AFFFs to see what chemicals they contain, so we can better anticipate what types of chemicals will be present at AFFF-contaminated sites.

    Here's our problem: We can obtain stock of the current-use AFFFs, but we have not been able to track down any of the old 3M stock. This is product that hasn't been produced for about a decade, and most have replaced their old stock with the more environmentally friendly products. It is likely, however, that there are pails or large containers of the old stock out there. We only need a small amount to do our analysis.

    The product goes by a few names, but is usually referred to as:

    "3M AFFF" or "3M Light Water"



    If anyone has some of this stock, or can point me in the right direction, please let me know by replying or sending me a PM. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for your attention.


    A Google search would be the best route.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  3. #3
    Forum Member DarkStarr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    A Google search would be the best route.
    Did you even comprehend his post?

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkStarr View Post
    Did you even comprehend his post?
    Sure.

    And it's entirely possible that some small fire department somewhere that doesn't run a lot of flammable liquid fires still has a five gallon can or three of Light Water sitting in a back room.

    I doubt you'd find it on E-Bay.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  5. #5
    Forum Member BlueMtnsFF's Avatar
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    Its a bit far for shipping, but I know a few stations down here that have a couple of 20L drums gathering dust. You might be able to get our HAZMAT section to send you a sample if you ask nicely

    http://www.fire.nsw.gov.au

    New South Wales, Australia

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber JohnVBFD's Avatar
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    Got a Navy base near you?

    Ask them. Write it in stone, they have it.
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

  7. #7
    Forum Member johnny46's Avatar
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    "Scientist" is really a job?
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber wischief's Avatar
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    I may have a pail of this stuff gathering dust in a dark storeroom. I will check and get back to you.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    A Google search would be the best route.
    Obviously, that's what I tried first. For a mixture that was once so prevalent, it's been remarkably hard to find.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMtnsFF View Post
    Its a bit far for shipping, but I know a few stations down here that have a couple of 20L drums gathering dust. You might be able to get our HAZMAT section to send you a sample if you ask nicely

    http://www.fire.nsw.gov.au

    New South Wales, Australia
    Thanks for the reply. Quite far indeed, as I'm in Canada. However, I may pursue this.



    Quote Originally Posted by johnny46 View Post
    "Scientist" is really a job?
    Well, "research chemist" is the more precise term.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnVBFD View Post
    Got a Navy base near you?

    Ask them. Write it in stone, they have it.
    I've pursued the military angle with no success. But, you're right, it is probably worth a second look.



    Thanks for all of the replies. If anyone else has access to this AFFF, particularly those in Canada or the US, please let me know.

    Of course, we'd certainly pay all shipping costs, and acknowledge your contribution in any publications we produce.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wischief View Post
    I may have a pail of this stuff gathering dust in a dark storeroom. I will check and get back to you.

    Thank you!

  11. #11
    Forum Member johnny46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluorine View Post
    Obviously, that's what I tried first. For a mixture that was once Well, "research chemist" is the more precise term.
    Way better. When you say: "I'm a scientist," I really just hear: "I took Intro to Chemistry at the local community college and I pour chemicals on bugs when I'm not working at Burger King."
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

  12. #12
    Forum Member snowball's Avatar
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    I'll look the next time I'm at our fire shop. I remember using that crap, for some reason we couldn't get it to stop coagulating in the tanks. It obviously has a shelf life. We eventually wound up pouring mineral oil over the top in the tank to keep the air off of it.
    We might still have some left, that is if it hasn't been stolen and thrown in the fountain at city hall. SCIENCE!!

    Oh, I want in on the class action lawsuit.
    IAFF

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny46 View Post
    Way better. When you say: "I'm a scientist," I really just hear: "I took Intro to Chemistry at the local community college and I pour chemicals on bugs when I'm not working at Burger King."
    Just as long as the pouring chemicals on bugs and working at Booger King are kept as two different things.

  14. #14
    Forum Member tfpd109's Avatar
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    I wouldnt doubt that we have some layin around also.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluorine View Post


    Well, "research chemist" is the more precise term.
    Perhaps the more precise reason for the "research" would be Contracted by a bloodsucking POS trial lawyer laying the groundwork for a hugely profitable class action lawsuit. Go for the deep pockets and who has more cash than 3M.

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireinfo10 View Post
    Perhaps the more precise reason for the "research" would be Contracted by a bloodsucking POS trial lawyer laying the groundwork for a hugely profitable class action lawsuit. Go for the deep pockets and who has more cash than 3M.
    You know this to be the case, or just speculation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    You know this to be the case, or just speculation?
    I don't know about fireinfo10, but his thoughts are about the same as I had upon first reading the initial post. Thoroughly speculation, but my gut isn't lying about this one...
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

  18. #18
    Forum Member snowball's Avatar
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    Ahem, look at post 12 again to find out who the real Barnaby Jones is.
    IAFF

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireinfo10 View Post
    Perhaps the more precise reason for the "research" would be Contracted by a bloodsucking POS trial lawyer laying the groundwork for a hugely profitable class action lawsuit. Go for the deep pockets and who has more cash than 3M.
    There certainly have been class action lawsuits related to these kinds of chemicals. For example, Dupont has faced one, based on the chemical PFOA.

    However, this research has nothing to do with any litigation. The results of this research will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and the information will be used by those who deal with the assessment and clean-up of contaminated sites.

    I really don't mean to get anyone excited about this.
    Last edited by fluorine; 01-06-2011 at 04:03 PM.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post
    Ahem, look at post 12 again to find out who the real Barnaby Jones is.
    You - and of course Firehouse_Chick are my heros!

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