Buyback program in Colorado offers alternative to cancer-causing firefighting foam

  • Source: KUSA-TV NBC 9 Denver
  • Published: 10/27/2021 12:00 AM

For years, fire departments have been using a foam laced with toxic chemicals to fight large, fuel-based fires – a new program in Colorado allows fire departments to swap out their original foam with a safer alternative. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has linked cancer and other medical conditions to the chemicals, known as PFAS, in the firefighting foam and are considered "forever chemicals" that are extremely hard to remove from the environment and the human body once they are introduced. PFAS are also known to enter drinking water supply after seeping through the ground, jeopardizing drinking water for entire towns. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recently began the firefighting foam buyback program called the "Takeback" program – where Colorado fire departments can take unused firefighting foam containing PFAS out of service and safely store it until there is a safe disposal method.


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