Defence is undertaking a national program to review its estate and investigate and implement a comprehensive approach to manage the impacts of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on, and in the vicinity of, some of its bases around Australia.
From 2004, Defence commenced phasing out its use of legacy aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) containing PFOS and PFOA as active ingredients. The AFFF now used by Defence is a more environmentally safe product. Further, Defence has made changes to the way it uses AFFF to ensure that the risk of releasing AFFF into the environment is minimised.
Defence is taking a responsible and proactive approach to this matter and is working with Commonwealth, state and local authorities in the conduct of its investigations.
Defence is being open and transparent in making the verified test results available to the local community, and is sharing this information with relevant state/territory and local authorities to assist with planning.
Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are manufactured chemicals that are used in products that are resistant to heat, grease and water and include perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluoroctanic acid (PFOA) and perflourohexane sulfonate (PFHxS).
PFAS have been used in Australia and around the world in many common household products and specialty applications including: