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The future of fire safety: focus on fluorine-free fire extinguishers

For the Pastor Group, innovation and the continuous improvement process play a crucial role. As a manufacturer of fire extinguishers with fluorine-free extinguishing agents, we are proud to be at the forefront of this ground-breaking development. In this article, we would like to emphasise the importance of fluorine-free fire extinguishers and highlight their benefits for safety and the environment.

Why fluorine-free fire extinguishers?

  1. Environmental friendliness: Fluorine-free extinguishing agents are sustainable alternatives that are less harmful to the environment. Not using fluorine compounds helps to protect human health and the environment in the long term.
  2. Sustainability: By reducing exposure to hazardous chemicals, fluorine-free extinguishing agents not only help to protect the environment, but are also harmless to health. PFAS are often referred to as "eternal chemicals" due to their high persistence.
  3. Effectiveness and versatility: The fluorine-free extinguishing agents used in our fire extinguishers are extremely effective and versatile. They are suitable for various types of fires, from solid fires to liquid fires. And with one of the highest extinguishing capacities on the market.

In the pursuit of a sustainable future and responsible behaviour, the Pastor Group has positioned itself as a pioneer in environmentally friendly fire protection solutions. Our endeavours extend not only to reducing the ecological footprint of our production, but also to the development of pioneering products such as fluorine-free fire extinguishers.

Focus on technology:

Our fire extinguishers are based on state-of-the-art technology that enables fast and efficient firefighting. We rely on highly developed formulas that not only fulfil the requirements of safety standards, but also ensure optimum performance.

Areas of application:

The areas of application for fluorine-free fire extinguishers are diverse and range from residential buildings and offices to industrial and commercial facilities. Our products have been developed to ensure reliable firefighting in various environments.

Outlook for the future:

The development of fluorine-free fire extinguishers is a milestone in the evolution of fire extinguishing technology. As a manufacturer, we are continuously committed to research and innovation in order to further increase the efficiency of our products while minimising their environmental impact.

As advocates of state-of-the-art fire protection technology, we are convinced that fluorine-free fire extinguishers not only protect safety, but also the environment. By consciously choosing these innovative solutions, together we can create a safer and more sustainable future. Protect what's important to you with fire extinguishers that are state of the art and environmentally friendly.

Innovative approaches to environmental friendliness:

Our philosophy is based on the conscious use of natural resources. We set standards by minimising paper consumption, energy-saving production and the targeted reduction of packaging materials. These standards are also reflected in our product range, particularly in the development of fluorine-free fire extinguishers, which not only fulfil fire protection requirements but also focus on environmental compatibility.

Environmentally friendly technology in use:

The development of our fluorine-free fire extinguishers is based on the most advanced technology. Through innovative solutions, we not only achieve a high extinguishing performance, but also minimise the environmental impact. Our focus is on sustainable, environmentally friendly technology that increases the efficiency of firefighting.

The Green series:

As a pioneer in sustainability, we proudly present our Green series of fire extinguishers. This series is being continuously developed and offers our customers a wide range of environmentally friendly alternatives for firefighting. Our fluorine-free foam, water and grease fire extinguishers from this series are completely free of fluorosurfactants (PFAS) and other potentially harmful substances.

The challenge of the PFAS problem:

In line with our commitment to a sustainable future, we are facing the challenge of perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS). Our Green range aims to eliminate the fluorine content in our products and thus contribute to tackling this global environmental issue.

A look into the future without fluortensides:

The issue of fluorinated foam extinguishing agents is a significant challenge that we are proactively addressing with our Green series. Pastor sets an example for environmentally friendly firefighting and encourages people to support the move towards alternative, fluorine-free solutions. Protecting people and the environment is at the centre of our mission and we invite you to join us in shaping the future of fire safety.

FAQ

What are PFAS/PFC/PFT?

Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS for short) form a family of thousands of organic fluorine compounds that are found in many everyday products and are used in their manufacture or application. PFAS are therefore widely used. Some of the PFAS-containing substances are suspected of being at least a cause for concern. PFAS form the basis for many fire extinguishing foams used for liquid and liquidising substances (fire class B) in fire protection, prevention and plant engineering. The added fluorosurfactants significantly increase the extinguishing properties of the extinguishing foam. The molecular composition of the substance is relevant here.

The longer the fluorinated chain compound is, the higher the concentration of halogenated fluorine usually is. For some time now, the substance PFHxA (a substance within the PFAS family) has established itself as the "state of the art" for many extinguishing foams, especially for fire extinguishers.

In the case of the substance PFHxA, we are talking about a C6 chemistry, i.e. a molecular chain composition of six fluorinated compounds. The term PFAS is internationally recognised. The term PFC/PFT (perfluorinated chemicals/perfluorinated surfactants) may still be familiar from older discussions. International experts have agreed on the term PFAS.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is preparing a ban on all PFAS substances, as certain members of this group of substances are classified as substances of very high concern. Some PFAS compounds are known to be persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBTs), while others are considered to be of very high concern.

The outstanding property of PFAS is their persistence, which means that they degrade very slowly or not at all in nature. For this reason, they are often referred to as "eternal chemicals" and can remain in the environment for long periods of time. The continued release of PFAS into the environment leads to increasing concentrations and can lead to health problems and diseases in humans, as numerous studies have shown.

Another problem is the mobility and potential for long range transport (LRTP) of PFAS. These compounds can spread over long distances in soil, water, groundwater and even in the atmosphere. They can enter the food chain via animals, plants and drinking water and are only broken down slowly in the human body.

Due to the decades-long release of PFAS into the environment, they are already an integral part of the natural cycle, as shown by studies demonstrating high PFAS concentrations in rain worldwide. In view of these far-reaching problems, ECHA is planning to ban all PFAS substances to protect the environment and human health from the harmful effects of these persistent and widespread chemicals.

The work of the Scientific Committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) on the legal requirements of a ban began in 2023.

The final opinion of the RAC/SEAC is still pending, which represents a significant challenge due to the complexity and scope of the restriction proposal. Once this work has been completed, publication at EU level is expected to take place in mid/end 2024. The member states will then have to adopt the law.

The ban entails gradual requirements. These differ depending on the risk classification; for example, the fluorine transformation in normal trade or industry provides for relatively short transition periods, while significantly longer periods prevail in disruptive operations or for fire brigades. For fire extinguishers, the period is generally 5 years from the date the regulation comes into force. The regulation is complex and dynamic. If you have any questions or require general information, you can fill out and send the contact form provided (with your question) at any time or send your enquiry directly by email to Fluorine.consulting@pastor-group.de send.

The law stipulates requirements shortly after it comes into force. The conversion of fire extinguishers to fluorine-free foam extinguishing agents is possible for cartridge extinguishers under certain conditions.

We would like to point out that even small amounts of fluorine can lead to the legal limits being exceeded. The operator may be required to provide evidence. It is recommended that any retrofitting is carefully checked for feasibility, legal certainty and hidden costs.

The extinguishing agent must be conceptually adapted to the general conditions, the environment and the parameters to be extinguished as part of a risk assessment. Fluorine-free foam extinguishing agents are only one possible option. If the fire risks permit, other extinguishing agents may be appropriate:

  • Fluorine-free foam extinguishers
  • Powerful water extinguishers
  • ABC powder fire extinguisher
  • CO2 fire extinguisher
  • Water fog extinguisher
  • BC powder fire extinguisher

Well-known manufacturers are already labelling products containing PFAS. In case of doubt, the manufacturer/distributor should be asked to label substances containing PFAS. 

Timeline for PFAS regulation of foam extinguishing agents in portable & mobile fire extinguishers

Entry into force of REACH regulation of PFAS in fire-fighting foams
2023
RAC and SEAC
Start work on the regulatory process Due to the complexity of the ban, there are delays
2022
Request from five EU Member States to regulate "PFAS in firefighting foams"
2020
Ban PFOS, C12-C8
1991
2024/2025
- Final report of the RAC and SEAC
- Draft law by the EU Commission
- Discussion and decision of the European Union
2023
ECHA
Consultation procedure opened on 23 March 2022.
Ended on 23/09/2022
2021
Ban on PFOA, C8
2006
Ban on CFC-Halon (FCKWHalonVerbV) in Germany

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has announced that it is preparing a ban on the use of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in firefighting foams. The ban is part of a broader effort by the European Union to reduce the use of hazardous substances and promote the transition to safer and more sustainable alternatives.

This ban affects preventive fire protection, fire protection systems and fire defence. The topic is multi-layered and complex. 

There are many questions to be answered.

When will PFAS be banned from fire extinguishing foams?

What do you need to consider?

Where is PFAS everywhere?

What must operational processes look like if you work with products containing PFAS?

What about the documentation?

Are the current fire extinguishing foams or fire extinguishers in use PFAS-free and do they comply with the applicable regulations and guidelines regarding the PFAS ban?

Are there alternative fire extinguishing foams that are PFAS-free and still effective and safe?

Are there any advances or innovations in this area that can be utilised?

Are suppliers regularly audited to ensure that the products are PFAS-free?

Are employees informed about the PFAS ban and trained to ensure that they can comply with the new regulations?

Are there risk mitigation strategies if products containing PFAS continue to be used until a switch is made to PFAS-free alternatives?

How do you communicate with customers about the changes in products due to the PFAS ban?

Do you keep up to date with new developments and regulations regarding PFAS regulation?

How to ensure that disposal and waste management procedures comply with environmental protection requirements, especially with regard to PFAS-containing materials?

Want to know more about the upcoming ban on PFAS in firefighting foams and how it could affect your business?

Simply contact us by completing the questionnaire below.

Our team of experts is available to answer your questions and inform you of the implications of this important regulatory change. We are here to help you comply with the regulations and support you in your transition to PFAS-free alternatives.

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WITHOUT PFAS.

Fluorine-free transformation starts now!

Safety meets sustainability! Discover our fluorine-free fire extinguishers - for a safe and environmentally friendly future!