Skip to main
gloria-fluorfrei-header-2000x550 gloria-fluorfrei-header-1x1

Towards a fluorine-free future

The expectations and requirements for fire protection products are naturally high. They should function immediately in an emergency, be intuitive to use and powerful even for laypersons, save lives, preserve health, protect values and be durable. Ideally, the extinguishing agent used should be gentle on the environment and leave hardly any consequential damage after use. In recent years, modern GLORIA wet fire extinguishers, i.e. foam or water extinguishers, met this ecological standard.
While GLORIA high-performance water extinguishers have always been fluorine-free, the fluorine content of foam extinguishers of the types SE+, SH and SDE was already reduced to 0.04% in 2014.
The latter foam fire extinguishers are now getting the chop: in the next few years, legislators are planning to completely do away with fluorosurfactants, which are difficult to break down in nature. The European authorities, in this case the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), are now working together with other authorities to regulate the entire PFAS group of substances, which could result in an EU-wide restriction proposal under REACH. This is a huge challenge for extinguishing agent producers, because film-forming extinguishing agents have long been considered the top class for use on larger, flammable class B liquids.
Ears open - The hot topic "Fluorine-free" now in the podcast
Together with the editorial team of Wirtschaft Aktuell, we have produced a podcast on the mission of fluorine-free fire extinguishers. 
In this hot off the press podcast, our product managers Jürgen Schmitz and Jürgen Petermann talk to Anja Wittenberg from Wirtschaft Aktuell to explain what a new regulation around fluorinated foam extinguishing agents is all about, what perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are and how companies and owners of foam fire extinguishers should prepare for these changes in the future. 
But listen for yourself!
You can find the podcast wherever podcasts are available, including here:
What does the fluorine content in the conventional foam extinguishing agent do?
The fluorine substances give the extinguishing foam its excellent film-forming properties, which significantly increase the extinguishing effect especially on B fires (liquid fires). A very thin liquid film forms between the liquid and the foam. On A fires, the fluorosurfactants can lower the surface tension much further than other additives in the foam concentrate. This ensures that the foam penetrates better and faster into fine structures. In addition, the fluorosurfactants ensure that the foam concentrate has a repellent effect on liquids. Advantage: The liquid film is thus more stable, lasts longer and does not tear. These properties effectively prevent gas from escaping from the flammable liquid. The fluorine compounds belong to the PFAS group.
What are PFAS?
PFAS are often toxic perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, of which more than 4,700 individual substances are known. From a chemical point of view, PFAS are organic compounds of various chain lengths in which the hydrogen atoms have been completely (perfluorinated) or partially (polyfluorinated) replaced by fluorine atoms. They are found in countless everyday products, such as outdoor jackets, Teflon pans and pots, cosmetics and protective clothing, but also in fluorine-containing fire extinguishing agents.
Why are foam extinguishing agents criticised?

The chemically produced substances do not occur in nature. Although they offer the advantage of being water, dirt and grease repellent, they have long been suspected of being harmful to living organisms. They rapidly enter our ecosystem via water and accumulate in humans via groundwater and drinking water, food (plants, animals and bioorganisms) or the air we breathe.

PFAS are hardly degradable, remain in the environment for a very long time and can, among other things, increase cholesterol levels and the tendency to infections, damage the liver and thyroid gland as well as the heart, probably have a carcinogenic effect and have an unfavourable influence on unborn life. A distinction is made between long-chain (and more harmful) C8 and less harmful (short-chain) C6 foams.

Even the newer generation of short-chain C6 foams, which represent the current state of the art, are now classified as being of concern. The conspicuous substance among the C6 foams whose compounds are extremely persistent in the environment is PFHxA (perfluorohexane sulfonic acid) and also belongs to the PFAS group of substances.

What does the future hold?

What can be expected in the future for extinguishing agents containing fluorine?
The future will clearly be fluorine-free. The use of fluorosurfactant-containing devices will most likely be limited.
Does the purchase of new fire extinguishers/ extinguishing agents containing fluorine still make sense?
Rather NO - economically and from an environmental point of view, an acquisition should be questioned - especially with regard to sustainability/longevity. Due to the looming obligation to phase out fluorine-containing foams, in a worst-case scenario as early as 2024/2025, their purchase should be carefully considered.
Because: The service life of conventional foam extinguishers will become very manageable due to the new regulation. Comprehensive advice to end users in favour of fluorine-free extinguishing agents is the order of the day.
  • Since 2019, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has been working on a general ban of fluorosurfactants in firefighting foams.
  • The draft was published in spring 2022 and is currently being discussed in EU regulatory committees.
  • If the restriction of these substances is enforced as proposed, current extinguishing agents based on C6 technology will no longer be allowed to be manufactured, used or placed on the market in the EU.
  • The proposed limits are
- 25ppb PFHxA and its salts (0.025mg/kg)
- Sum of 1000 ppb of related substances (1mg/kg).
In addition, five European countries (the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway) are working on a proposal for restrictions to cover all PFAS in other uses. They plan to submit their proposal to ECHA in January 2023. The risk assessment foreseen in the proposal to restrict PFAS in fire-fighting foams is relevant for all PFAS. This means that it will also pave the way for the risk assessment under the broader PFAS restriction. 
An opinion is thus not expected until 2023. The core message, however, remains the ban on fluor-containing solutions in fire extinguishers. 
The detailed communication of ECHA can be viewed in the English version on the official website of the Commission
A new acquisition is pending - what does GLORIA recommend?
1. must fluorine-free foam extinguishers necessarily be used if a conventional foam extinguisher was previously available?
Fire risk and fire load must be carefully weighed up for areas to be protected for an incipient fire in the fire protection concept. In the future, the economically optimal result for the operator may be a mix of fluorine-free foam and modern high-performance water extinguishers.
2. fire risk and fire load in workplaces according to ASR 2.2 - differentiated advice is the be-all and end-all!
Let's think of the classic workplace in an administration building with file storage as one of many examples.
A differentiated risk assessment will predominantly identify the fire of solids in the formation phase as the highest risk. For fire class A, a water extinguisher would be considered for the area.
In the manufacturing area, flammable liquids, for example, are used in the same company. Here, the fluorine-free foam extinguisher would be predestined.
The same trigger fittings should be selected for both types in a user-friendly way.
Are transitional periods foreseen for existing equipment?
This has not yet been decided and the formulation remains to be seen. GLORIA is working on concepts that provide for the continued use of various existing devices through conversion.
What happens abroad?
Especially in Scandinavia and England, there is a clear trend towards water fire extinguishers. At GLORIA, the product selection of water extinguishers is very diverse: 
  • pure water extinguishers (6l with 6LE!)
  • high performance versions from 10LE 
  • frost-proof (down to -30°) units.

GLORIA product highlights


The new GLORIA fluorine-free foam fire extinguishers offer you several advantages and technical features.


Are you interested in the technical specifications of our different fluorine-free models?

Find out more on our product pages.



Extremely environmentally friendly quality foam

Made in Europe, with non-fluorinated water additives and 100% bio-based surfactants of the latest generation. Contains no environmentally harmful PFOS or PFOA and is free of silicones.



Innovative extinguishing agent

Easily biodegradable



Special nozzle

Developed for the special requirements of B fires with fluorine-free foams



GLORIA "Fluorine free logo"

Special labelling with the GLORIA "Fluorine-free" logo - a clear distinguishing feature from existing fluorine-containing foam fire extinguishers.



Can be used on electrical systems

... up to 1000V, minimum distance 1m (for higher voltage observe DIN VDE 0132)



Particularly powerful on the B fire

SB / SDB models with a power of 183B (12 LE) very strong on B fires such as liquid fires


The future is fluorine-free. 

Fluorine-free foam extinguishers as well as modern high-performance water extinguishers will shape the image of our workplaces, especially indoors. 

Specialist planners will design fire protection concepts in a more differentiated way and according to environmental aspects. Hazard assessments will be more rationally oriented towards fire risks and loads in individual company sections. 

A mix of different extinguishing agents with the same fire extinguisher release fittings can mean custom-fit solutions for companies, and at the same time be ecologically balanced and economical.

GLORIA guarantees competent and future-oriented advice.

Additional information

In our product brochure "Towards a fluorine-free future" we provide you with detailed information on the status quo, the future concept fluorine-free and the fluorine-free GLORIA foam fire extinguishers.
We have compiled the answers to the most important questions in a FAQ document "Wet extinguishers in transition".
Press releases
Read our latest news and announcements on the topic here and access our press archive.