Opponents of firefighting foam containing fluorinated chemicals fail to fairly weigh the overwhelming benefits of these products against evidence that exposure can ultimately lead to adverse health effects in humans, said Mitch Hubert, a leading chemist or “formulator” working in this specialized market. Speaking to an international audience of industrial fire responders in October, Hubert said that fluorinated foams are under attack from an environmental standpoint on a worldwide basis. “That has really led us to a crossroads in the firefighting foam industry,” he said. “Do we stay with fluorinated foams or go to non-fluorinated foams? There are advantages and disadvantages on both sides of that argument.” Chief among the disadvantages for industrial firefighters is the lack of a substantial track record of success using non-fluorinated foam, Hubert said. “Fluorine free foams have not proven to be as effective in large catastrophic fire,” he said. “This is much of what...