Meet the Formulator: Fluorine foams remain indispensable to industrial firefighting, expert says

Hubert Mitch Hubert
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 the...
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Fluorine foams remain indispensable to industrial firefighting, expert says

  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...
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Healing Power Solberg moves into new markets with flourine-free foam technology

Having successfully launched high performance, new technology firefighting foam into Europe and parts of Asia gives the Wisconsin-based Solberg Company a big advantage as it maneuvers for a share of the Americas foam business, said company spokesperson Dave Pelton.  “I think it is obvious that ultimately, as the regulations broaden and tighten overseas, there will continue to be pressure on fluorinated-based foam concentrates around the world including the Americas,” he said.   Acquired by Amerex Corporation in 2011, Solberg introduced its latest product to the U.S. market in June – an Underwriters Laboratories listed high performance, fluorosurfactant-free, fluoropolymer-free three percent firefighting foam concentrate. Formulated using a new synthetic foam technology, RE-HEALING™ RF3, 3% is designed to replace traditional AFFF and FFFP concentrates and older protein and fluoroprotein foams.   “Today, when accessing products needed to protect industrial facilities, fire safety and risk management personnel are looking for products that provide superior...
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Alert

North American energy capitals such as Houston and Calgary have traditionally served as headquarters for the specialized emergency response services that the oil and gas industry requires. However, while still leading energy centers, these cities have increasingly become only part of the far reaching and expanding worldwide energy development.   “Transporting personnel and equipment from North America to locations as far away as Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the Caspian Sea or Africa encompasses extended timelines upwards of two or three days to respond to an event,” said Mike Allcorn, Managing Director of Alert Disaster Control (ALERT).   ALERT is an international emergency response and risk management solutions services company whose expertise includes oilfield fire fighting and blowout control, critical well integrity, well control/relief well engineering, marine and industrial fire fighting and hazard materials control response activities. It services industries ranging from energy exploration and development to chemical production and manufacturing....
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