There is an urgent need to understand the potentials hazards of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) replacement products to ensure the balance between performance and toxicity hazards during the rapid phase out of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS)-containing AFFFs. As such, the primary research objectives of this project are to:

  1. Compare the nominal toxicities of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS)-free firefighting formulations (F3s) relative to a short-chain PFAS-containing AFFF product;
  2. Conduct chronic exposure experiments with environmentally-relevant receptors and endpoints using bioassays consistent with Good Laboratory Practices (GLPs); and
  3. Rank the relative toxicity of each F3.

Technical Approach

This project involves controlled toxicity tests to compare the nominal toxicities of F3s relative to a legacy, PFAS-containing AFFF. Tests include a suite of in vitro assays and acute toxicity tests, subacute (28 day) toxicity tests, and reproductive/developmental screenings in the laboratory rodent species, Mus.

Project Summary


The project will improve the understanding of the potential health effects on F3s on a mammalian receptor. It is anticipated that these new products will be either less toxic or less persistent than PFAS-containing AFFF. (Anticipated Project Completion - 2024)


East, A.G., A.M. Narizzano, L.A. Holden, M.A. Bazar, M.E. Bohannon. D. Pervitsky, V.H. Adams, N.R. Reinke, and M.J. Quinn, Jr. 2023. Comparative Toxicity of Seven Aqueous Film Forming Foams to In Vitro Systems and Mus. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, 42(11):2364-2374. doi.org/10.1002/etc.5714.

Holden, L.A., A.G. East, A.M. Narizzano, and M.J. Quinn, Jr. 2023. Toxicology Assessment for Six Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS)-Free Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) Products. Integrated Environmental Assessment Management, 19(6):1609-1618. doi.org/10.1002/ieam.4750.