The 2,807-acre Alameda Naval Air Station is a closed Navy installation located on Alameda Island, adjacent to the city of Alameda. Solid wastes generated at the site were disposed of in two on-base landfills. In addition, various wells have recently tested at extremely high levels for PFAS contamination.
In the 1960s, researchers from the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory began testing a new class of firefighting foam that could rapidly extinguish fuel fires. The foams, dubbed aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), were a boon to firefighters. Special perfluorinated chemicals gave AFFF unique hydrophobic and surfactant properties, allowing it to rapidly seal over burning fuel and prevent reignition once a blaze had been extinguished. By the 1970s, AFFF was in use at most military bases, airports, refineries, and many civilian fire departments around the world.
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