According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”), PFAS are a class of manufactured chemicals that began being used in industrial applications and consumer goods in the 1940s because of their useful properties. There are thousands of different individual chemicals that collectively makeup of the family of PFAS. The two PFAS that were most widely used and have been most closely studied are perfluorooctanoic acid (“PFOA”) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (“PFOS”). Additional information regarding PFAS can be found at USEPA’s website.
PFAS has been used in first responder gear for two principal reasons:
Yes, in some components. As of November 2023, to make gear that meets the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) standards, Ricochet must use at least some garment materials and components that contain PFAS. However, Ricochet is keeping up with new emerging materials where the use of PFAS is eliminated. In particular, an industry announcement was made in April 2023 for a new moisture barrier that while qualified as an individual material is still awaiting full certification and is not currently available for use in Ricochet firefighter protective clothing. In addition, some suppliers have created non-PFAS finishes for their outer shell materials that Ricochet is now offering. (For a list of our products that contain PFAS, please see our PFAS Products Disclosure Document).