Firefighting foam has been widely used by firefighters across the nation for decades, especially by those fighting fires in the U.S. military and airports. However, regular exposure to firefighting foams has been found to cause firefighters to develop cancer from the regular exposure to toxic chemicals in the foam.
Firefighters claim to have developed kidney, pancreatic, and testicular cancer from exposure to firefighting foam. If you or a loved one are a firefighter, were regularly exposed to firefighting foam, and later developed cancer or other injuries, you may be entitled to a cash settlement for your suffering.
Firefighting foam is officially known as aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF). AFFF is a foam fire retardant that works by creating a blanket to cut off oxygen from the fuel.
To help put out fires, fire-retardant chemicals called PFAS have been added to many of the firefighting foams. Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are human-made chemicals designed to be resistant to grease, water, oil, and heat.
The FDA says PFAS have been added to fire-fighting foams since the 1940’s. However, PFAS have been linked to severe health risks in firefighters exposed to firefighting foam.
PFAS have been found to build up inside of the body and not break down over time. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) says the accumulation of PFAS in the body can contribute to serious heath conditions including an increased risk of cancer, impacted immune system, and increased cholesterol levels.
Health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Cancer Society (ACS), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have observed that PFAS may increase the risk of cancer and other health issues in firefighters.
Cancers associated with PFAS include:
PFOA and PFOS are common types of PFAS found in firefighting foam. Both these chemicals have been found to accumulate in the body and not break down, increasing the risk of cancer and other severe health risks.
Local firefighting departments aren’t the only industries at risk of firefighting foam hazards. Firefighting foam has been used by a variety of industries since the mid 1940’s. But, the hazards of PFAS in firefighting foam were not well-known by firefighters until recent years.
The military uses 75% of all firefighting foam according to the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP). Military firefighters used PFAS-containing foams during firefighting training and emergency responses.
Firefighting foam was used by:
Airport firefighters were required to use firefighting foam since the 1970s to put out jet fuel fires. As of 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) no longer requires airports to use PFAS-containing foams. But, this rule will not go into effect until 2021. Thousands of firefighters over the decades could be at risk from the harmful side effects of PFAS in foam exposure.
Many firefighting foam manufacturers are facing legal and medical scrutiny for hazardous foam. Allegedly, some companies knew about the health risks of PFAS in firefighting foam, but failed to take proper action to protect the public.
Companies currently facing legal action for PFAS contamination in firefighting foam inlcde 3M company, Dupont, and Chemours.
To learn more about lawsuits for PFAS in firefighting foam, visit justiceforfirefighters.com.
If you are a firefighter, were exposed to PFAS in firefighting foam, and developed cancer, you may be eligible to file a claim against companies that made firefighting foam. A company's lack of proper safety warning should never define your suffering. Hold negligent companies responsible and call us today.
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