Firefighting Foam Likely Caused Colorado Water Contamination

Firefighting foam used at Peterson AFB, Colo., likely is the source of toxic chemicals found in three nearby drinking water systems, the Colorado state Department of Health said this week. Colorado officials said while it hasn’t ruled out other sources, the firefighting foam used in training exercises at Peterson contains perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, that have been linked to prostate, kidney, and testicular cancer, the Associated Press reported. The Air Force has identified six sites at Peterson where the foam may have escaped into the environment after drills or tests, and is checking other bases where the foam may have been released. The Air Force on Aug. 15 awarded $6.2 million for 418,000 gallons of Phos-Chek 3 percent forming foam, which it says is more environmentally friendly to reduce the risk of possible contamination. The new foam does not contain PFCs. It will be delivered this month and replace all current foam in fire vehicles by the end of the year.