Cross Plains Solutions’ SoyFoam TF 1122 is the first firefighting foam GreenScreen Certified at the Gold level.

Farmers and firefighters join forces to eliminate forever chemicals

Firefighters and farmers in Ohio 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 TF 1122 eliminates this exposure, prioritizing the well-being of our first responders.

Cross Plains Solutions’ SoyFoam TF 1122 is the first and only firefighting foam that is 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. 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. SoyFoam is 100% free of intentionally added per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and is made with no fluorines.

Eliminating PFAS in firefighting foams is already a priority in Ohio. In January, Gov. Mike DeWine announced the new Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) Takeback Program, a statewide initiative to collect and destroy stockpiled firefighting foam containing PFAS.

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 aimed at decarbonizing the transportation sector, finding new demand streams for the increased soybean meal crush, which makes up 80% of the bean, remains top of mind.

“As a farmer and former volunteer firefighter, I’m proud to know that my soybeans are helping to make our communities safer,” said Steve Reinhard, Crawford County soybean farmer, Ohio Soybean Council board member and chairman of the United Soybean Board. “Plus, with additional soybean crush coming online in Ohio, it’s the perfect time to find additional uses for our meal.”

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.

“We are proud to partner with U.S. Soy to launch this breakthrough firefighting foam for use by fire departments across the nation,” said Alan Snipes Cross Plains Solutions’ Managing Partner. “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 that PFAS is 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 a real impact, not only for the safety of our first responders but also 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 Ohio Soybean Council 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. 

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