February 24, 2020

What are PFAS in Firefighting Foam?

Across America, firefighters are finding that their various cancer diagnoses were caused by chemicals in firefighting foam, ones that researchers say stick around in the human body forever: PFAS. But, what actually are PFAS, and how have they caused the suffering of potentially thousands of firefighters across the United States?

PFAS Definition

According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), PFAS are a type of man-made chemicals found in products commonly used by industry and consumers. PFAS stands for per- and polyfluroalkyl substances and have been manufactured in the United States since the 1940’s. PFAS have been found to be resilient in the environment and human body, so they don’t break down over time, hence how they received the nickname of "forever chemicals."

How Do I Get Exposed to PFAS?

Researchers found many PFAS are resistant to oil, grease, heat, and water, so PFAS have been used in a wide range of products all over the world. Most people get exposed to PFAS through the products they are in, but others can be exposed to PFAS by eating food or water contaminated by PFAS.

Products PFAS have been used in include:

  • Firefighting foams
  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Adhesives
  • Food packaging
  • Plastics
  • Heat-resistant non-stick cooking surfaces
  • Insulation of electrical wire

List of PFAS

There are over 5,000 kinds of PFAS, and researchers are still learning about the abilities of each one every day. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists the following three PFAS as the most produced and extensively studied of PFAS:

  • PFOA
  • PFOS
  • GenX

What Do PFAS Do to Your Body?

Because PFAS have been found to not break down in the body, they accumulate over time and can cause severe health effects. According to the EPA, PFAS have been linked to the following serious health conditions:

  • Growth and development
  • Negative impact on the immune system
  • Liver injury
  • Cancer
  • Thyroid hormone disruption

PFAS Cancer

Across the country, firefighters and others exposed to PFAS are coming forward, finding their cancer diagnoses were caused by their exposure to PFAS in firefighting foam and other products. Claims made by injured firefighters across the country claim PFAS caused them to develop the following kinds of cancer:

  • Testicular Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer

Why Do I Need Legal Help after Being Exposed to PFAS?

If you were exposed to PFAS in firefighting foams or other products and developed cancer, it may be in your best interest to file a claim against the product’s manufacturer. Allegations say many firefighting foam manufacturers knew the severe health risks of PFAS and failed to warn the public.

If you developed cancer after exposure to firefighting foam, reach out to us today for your free, no-obligation case evaluation. We can walk you through the process of obtaining justice, so you don’t suffer in silence! Contact our legal representatives today at 1.800.935.3533.

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