Farmers and Firefighters Join Forces to Eliminate Forever Chemicals

This International Firefighters’ Day, the soy checkoff encourages farmers to talk to their local fire departments about the health and environmental benefits of soy-based firefighting foam.

ST LOUIS (May 2, 2024) — Firefighters and farmers serve as the backbones of our local communities, united by a shared commitment to safety and service. As our first line of defense, firefighters face numerous risks navigating hazardous environments with smoke and carcinogens. Firefighters rely on various tools, including firefighting foam, to combat fires. However, traditional foams can pose risks, exposing them to harmful PFAS, or “forever chemicals.” With farmer investment, the safer alternative, SoyFoam™, eliminates this exposure, prioritizing the well-being of our first responders.

Cross Plains Solutions’ SoyFoam™ TF 1122 is the first and only firefighting foam GreenScreen Certified® at the Gold level. This partnership between Cross Plains Solutions and the soy checkoff gives firefighters one less thing to worry about while keeping our communities safe. SoyFoam is 100% free of intentionally added per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and is made with no fluorines. It’s also certified ready biodegradable by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development and is certified as 84% biobased through the U.S. Department of Agriculture BioPreferred® program.

“As a farmer and former volunteer firefighter for 23 years, the various applications of SoyFoam to extinguish and control fires could protect more than 1 million firefighters in the U.S. alone,” said Steve Reinhard, Ohio farmer and chair of the United Soybean Board, which administers the national soy checkoff. “One of our main priorities on behalf of the half-million U.S. soybean farmers is to create biobased alternatives safer for people and our environment. SoyFoam is just one example of creating sustainable soy solutions, and I’m proud that farmers and firefighters are coming together for the greater good.”

Another benefit of SoyFoam for the soybean industry is that it’s made with soy flour. While soy-based products for biofuels, adhesives, coatings, lubricants and plastics primarily use soybean oil, SoyFoam uses the meal component of the soybean. With the growth of renewable diesel aiming to decarbonize the transportation sector, finding new demand streams for the increased soybean meal crush that makes up 80% of the bean remains top of mind. Cross Plains Solutions estimates the current applications of SoyFoam™ TF 1122 have the potential to use the protein from 12 million bushels of soybeans, and new uses for the product, beyond firefighting applications, are on the horizon.

SoyFoam™ TF 1122 seamlessly integrates with current foam nozzles, inductors and pump pressures, requiring no adjustments to a fire department’s existing standard operating procedures. SoyFoam is a wetting/smothering agent capable of extinguishing Class A (ordinary combustibles) and Class B (flammable liquids) fires.

“We are proud to partner with U.S. Soy to launch this breakthrough firefighting foam for use by fire departments across the nation,” said Cross Plains Solutions’ Managing Partner Alan Snipes. “Our manufacturing plant in Georgia is ready to produce SoyFoam now, so fire departments can ask their suppliers to offer it. We also see demand for numerous additional applications, ranging from canisters to sprinkler systems.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports PFAS being found in water, air, fish, and soil at locations across the nation and the globe. Exposure is linked to several adverse health effects, including certain cancers, thyroid dysfunction, changes in cholesterol and small reductions in birth weight. So, mitigating forever chemicals through soy-based products can create real impact, not only for the safety of our first responders but to maintain the integrity of our local communities’ soil health, air quality and drinking water.

As we commemorate International Firefighters’ Day on May 4, the soy checkoff urges local farmers to provide information to their local fire departments to use SoyFoam, not only to protect their firefighters but to safeguard their communities as well. To learn more about the product, visit crossplainssolutions.com.

About United Soybean Board: United Soybean Board’s 77 volunteer farmer-leaders work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers create value by investing in research, education, and promotion with the vision of delivering sustainable soy solutions to every life, every day, across the three priority areas of Infrastructure & Connectivity, Health & Nutrition, and Innovation & Technology.

As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff. For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit unitedsoybean.org.

GreenScreen® Certified is an independent certification program owned by the nonprofit Clean Production Action, which promotes the use of PFAS-free and preferred chemicals in materials, products, and manufacturing.


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