Dave's Notes: Grasping the slippery truth

                                On Jan. 1, 1994, provisions of the M ontreal Protocol, an international agreement intended to protect the ozone layer, banned the domestic production of halons. One of the most effective firefighting agents known to humanity found itself condemned to death with no chance of a reprieve. Well, kinda. Halon continues to play an important role in fire protection today. We nurse stockpiles of it to keep our automatic systems in aircraft and electronic centers fully pressurized. Why? Because halon extinguishes in minimal time, is non-corrosive and relatively non-toxic to humans. Nothing better has been found to replace it. Fast forward to the present. Long range environmental concerns threaten to torpedo the use of fluorinated surfactants in Class B firefighting foam. However, testing to date still finds fluorinated foams vastly superior to non-fluorinated substitutes. Unlike halon,...
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