PFAS-free fire defense arrives at Rio Rico Fire Department

Published: May. 2, 2023 at 7:42 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - A new effort has arrived to help those who keep us safe, healthy, and protected.

On Tuesday, May 11, The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality helped the Rio Rico Fire Department remove over 250 gallons of cancer-causing chemicals used to put out fires.

The agency replaced the deadly carcinogen PFAS with a liquid called F-500.

According to Chief Mike Urbanski, this chemical works with water to help extinguish fires more quickly while also being safer for firefighters responding to fires.

“Anything we can do to protect our firefighters to be exposed to these chemicals and cancer-causing products,” Urbanski tells 13 News.

Urbanski said residents could rest easily knowing safer materials are used when responding to fires.

“Just going into a fire already, we are exposed to so many chemicals,” Urbanski said. “Being able to do away with the foams that were actually harmful to us is just an added bonus.”

Chief Urbanski said F-500 is typically used for type A and B fires. However, he said the chemical can be used universally for other types of fires.

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