Technical cleaning of PFOA / PFDA contaminated foam concentrate systems

Technical cleaning of PFOA / PFDA contaminated foam concentrate systems

We specialize in the technical cleaning of PFOA / PFDA contaminated foam agent tank systems and pipework. Many people are not necessarily familiar with the term “technical cleaning”. However, based on the very specific limit value threshold, this term should be replaced by “laboratory cleaning”.

This is because the aim of the cleaning process is not just to clean the system, but to make it free of limit values. This means reducing the system load from 500 or 1200 ug PFOA to less than 10 ug. It is easy to imagine that this project is not technically simple. 30ug per 1 liter of water cannot be detected by the human senses.

Neither the sense of smell nor the sense of sight can detect an increased value. The taste may be, but you should not try this with PFOA, because even small amounts of PFOA in the blood accumulate in the body over many years and can cause considerable damage. As a master company for silo cleaning and tank access technology, we have been on the market for over 10 years and can proudly boast an extensive customer reference list.

What is PFOA?

Substances in this group are substances that are exceptionally resistant to chemical and biological degradation and therefore long-lasting, so-called fluoroorganic compounds, carbon compounds in which the individual carbon atoms of a chain are either completely or partially surrounded by fluorine. The general group of substances is often referred to as PFAS2 – in German per- and polyfluorinated hydrocarbons. Some representatives of PFAS have now been identified as harmful to humans, which has led to regulatory measures by the authorities.

REACH as a basis On the basis of REACH3 , any member of the European Union can propose substances that are considered hazardous for regulation. As part of an RMOA4 , it is determined whether there is a need for regulation at all due to the risks to humans and the environment arising from the use of a substance and, if so, what type of regulation is required. The instruments for regulation under REACH range from restrictions on the manufacture or use of individual substances or entire groups of substances to the obligation to obtain authorization for manufacture or use through to a ban.

To date, two substances have been classified as lead substances in each substance group as requiring regulation and have been regulated by the legislator:

PFOS was the first substance from the PFAS series to be regulated by law in Europe: In December 2006, the EU Commission adopted Directive (EC) 2006/122 (supplement to Directive (EC) 76/769) which bans the production and use of PFOS and its precursors6 in the EU and sets the limit value for it in products at 50ppm (=mg/kg).

Products that contain more than 10ppm (=mg/kg) PFOS or its precursors may no longer be used in the EU since 2010 – this also applies to foam extinguishing agents without any exception. This means that foam extinguishing agents that were previously manufactured should be tested for their PFOS content. If the limit value is exceeded, any further use is prohibited; these extinguishing agents must be treated as waste in accordance with the requirements of (EU)2019/1021, Art. 7.

All foam extinguishing agent concentrates from Dr. Sthamer meet the legal requirements 100%: the PFOS content in fluorine-based extinguishing agents is at or below the detection limit. Furthermore, as we have completely separate production and filling facilities for foam extinguishing agents with and without fluorine compounds, our fluorine-free products are actually free of organofluorine compounds within the limits of measurement accuracy. PFOA8 Perfluorooctanoic acid is the second of the two PFAS substance groups regulated in Europe to date.

It is considered the end product of the degradation of all so-called C8 substances9 and therefore the lead substance of all C8 fluorosurfactants used in extinguishing agents. The provisions of Regulation (EU) 2017/1000 of July 13, 2017 concerning: “Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) CAS No.: 335-67-1 EC No.: 206-397-9 and its salts. All precursor compounds (including their salts and polymers) with a linear or branched perfluoroheptyl group … “10 restricted the manufacture and distribution of such substances. The inclusion of PFOA and its precursors in the POP list was transposed into European law by Delegated Regulation (EU)2020/784.

In addition to (EU)2017/1000, this now also regulates the use in particular. As a result, some of the previously applicable exemptions for foam extinguishing agents will become ineffective.

How can we help?

We have been decontaminating PFOS / PFOA contaminated systems throughout Germany for many years. We decontaminate, analyze and certify and, after these steps, release the system for refilling and commissioning.

Trust our expertise and get in touch with us!

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