March 16, 2020

Who is at Risk of Firefighting Foam Cancer?

Firefighting foam (AFFF) containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has been actively used since the 1940’s, a staple for firefighters across the country. PFAS are chemicals designed to withstand heat, so AFFF manufacturers have incorporated PFAS into firefighting foams to effectively smother even the toughest fires. Because of this unique property, a wide range of industries have used firefighting foams containing PFAS. Therefore, more people have potentially been exposed to PFAS in firefighting foam, putting them at risk of toxic side effects.

Researchers discovered PFAS can cause severe side effects including kidney, pancreatic, and testicular cancer. Because firefighting foams containing PFAS have been used for so long in a wide range of industries, hundreds of thousands of people could be at risk from toxic firefighting foam exposure.

Individuals at Risk of Exposure to PFAS in Firefighting Foam

Individuals at high risk of toxic AFFF include:

  • Local and departmental firefighters
  • Military firefighters
  • Airport firefighters
  • Refinery firefighters
  • Industrial firefighters
  • Anyone who has handled or been exposed to AFFF containing PFAS for an extended period of time.

Firefighters are predominantly at the highest risk of toxic firefighting foam exposure. However, it is not just local and departmental firefighters that are at risk. It is well known the military holds large stockpiles of firefighting foam containing PFAS. According to the Department of Defense, over 400 military sites are potentially contaminated by firefighting foam containing PFAS. So, military firefighters are at a significantly increased risk of serious side effects from AFFF.

Individuals who fight fires in industrial settings may also be at risk of PFAS exposure. Industries that handle large quantities of petroleum have been known to use AFFF containing PFAS to fight oil-based fires. So, an individual could be working in a facility that uses toxic AFFF or spend time near one and be exposed to PFAS.

Firefighters are not the only individuals at risk of exposure to PFAS in firefighting foam. Firefighting foam has been known to taint local groundwater and drinking supplies accessible to those who live in the area of facilities who use firefighting foam. Many U.S. communities near military bases have claimed toxic AFFF foam used for training purposes tainted nearby drinking water and caused widespread health problems and PFAS contamination in the area.

Locations at Risk of Toxic Firefighting Foam Exposure

Some locations that could be at high risk of PFAS contamination from AFFF inlcude:

  • Military facilities
  • Local fire departments
  • Municipal airports
  • Refineries
  • Fuel tank farms
  • Industries that potentially use and store large quantities of petroleums

To see a full map of the U.S. where firefighting foam cancer claims have been made, click here.

Were You Exposed to Firefighting Foam?

If you or a loved one was exposed to firefighting foam and developed cancer, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. To learn about your rights and see if you are eligible to file a claim for your injuries, contact us today. We offer free case consultations, and you don’t pay us a penny until we win or settle your case. Call us today at 1.800.935.3533.


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