Firefighting is an extremely dangerous occupation for many reasons. Courageous first responders who put their lives on the line to save others deserve our respect and protection as they perform their jobs. Unfortunately, research has discovered a link between firefighting foam, known as AFFF, and several serious medical conditions. As a result, more than 5,000 AFFF Lawsuits have been filed around the nation, and this number continues to grow each month.
Exposure to toxic chemicals embedded in AFFF firefighting foam, such as PFAS and other forever chemicals, has been causally linked to a number of cancers. Specifically, long-term exposure to PFAS has been linked to:
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Fertility issues
- Ulcerative colitis
- Thyroid cancer
- Colorectal cancer, and
If you’re a firefighter with a history of AFFF exposure or have encountered these dangerous chemicals elsewhere, it’s crucial to reach out to an AFFF cancer lawyer right away. You may be entitled to compensation for the legal damages and financial losses you have suffered because of AFFF-related illnesses, including related medical bills and lost income. You are not alone. Numerous AFFF lawsuits have been filed by people just like you across the nation.
Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) is widely used as a fire suppressant in many cases where water is ineffective or even dangerous to use for battling fire. Various chemicals in AFFF, including PFAS are necessary to create the compounds that work so well on certain fires. However these same chemicals are now considered toxic and carcinogenic with devastating effects on human health.
Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) Lawsuits Guide
- The Award-Winning Lawsuit Legal News Team Has Recovered Millions of Dollars for Injured People Like You
- What is Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF)?
- Others Who May Experience AFFF Exposure and Bring an AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit
- Who are the AFFF Manufacturers & Defendants
- Contact an AFFF Lawsuit Lawyer at Lawsuit Legal News About Your Firefighting Foam Lawsuit Today
- Read What Our Clients Have to Say…
The Award-Winning Lawsuit Legal News Team Has Recovered Millions of Dollars for Injured People Like You
The legal team behind LLN has an extensive, successful history of helping injury victims recover the financial losses they need to protect their futures. They have helped more than 40,000 clients and recovered more than $400 million in settlements and verdicts since opening their offices in 2004. Lead attorney Matthew A. Dolman is an award-winning, highly respected advocate and a lifetime member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum because of the results he has achieved for his clients.
Combined, the legal professionals supporting LLN have more than 120 years of legal experience and ample resources to successfully resolve large mass tort claims against corporate giants like 3M, Dupont, and Tyco. When you need tough advocates fighting for your legal rights, look no further than Lawsuit Legal News.
What is Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF)?
When most people think of firefighters battling fires, they usually picture brave men and women using fire hoses to spray water and douse rampant flames. In most cases, firefighting relies on this tried and true method of combatting a blaze, but there are some instances where water is not a viable option.
For example, where fires involve certain chemicals or fuel, the addition of water can worsen the situation. In situations involving flammable liquid, firefighters turn to aqueous film-forming foam, commonly known as AFFF. When this substance is sprayed onto fires, it creates a foam that turns into a film that smothers the flames by restricting oxygen until the fire is extinguished.
AFFF is usually purchased in a concentrated form that is mixed with water before its use. It comes in 3% or 6% variations depending on the ratio of water in the mixture. AFFF has been used since the 1960s, when it was invented for use by the military primarily as a fire suppression tool for fuel fires.
Although AFFF has been used extensively for decades, its days are numbered. After so many firefighters and military members have reported illnesses and other medical conditions following exposure to firefighting foam, AFFF has come under scrutiny. AFFF firefighting foam is being phased out due to an increased risk of cancer being discovered.
The phase-out of this product’s use by the military is supposed to be completed by 2024, and many civilian institutions have since discontinued its use as well. They are working on a number of alternatives to combat fires caused by flammable liquids.
Of course, for some people, these actions come too late. Hundreds of product liability AFFF lawsuits have been filed around the country seeking fair compensation for those who have been diagnosed with cancer or other serious conditions as a result of their exposure to AFFF. The federal cases have been consolidated into multi-district litigation (MDL) to ensure consistent evidence disclosure and judicial rulings to protect these plaintiffs facing an uncertain future.
Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) Lawsuits FAQs
What are Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Chemicals, and How Do They Relate to AFFF Lawsuits?
Let’s start with some background information to explain how AFFF can harm individuals who come in contact with this product. In order to make AFFF foamy and give it its trademark film that smothers fires, AFFF manufacturers utilize per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
PFAS are a controversial set of chemicals that have come under immense scrutiny due to their connection with an increased risk of cancer and their durability and longevity, which makes them an ongoing serious environmental and public health problem.
These chemicals have been used since the 1950s in a variety of applications where their waterproof and durable characteristics have been of great use. You can find PFAS in a wide range of products, including solvents, food packaging, clothing, and furniture.
PFAS are manmade fluoropolymers that resist heat, oil, grease, and water. These attributes are useful in many circumstances, but the usefulness is offset by the fact that these chemicals take an extremely long time to break down in the environment. Known as “forever chemicals,” PFAS can seep into soil and contaminate water sources and can accumulate in the bodies of wildlife and people who are exposed to or drink the toxic water.
Because these chemicals can easily find their way into food and water supplies, they are extremely dangerous. PFAS can accumulate in human bodies over time and can cause significant damage that can affect organ functions and lead to cancer.
These medical conditions can lead to extensive medical costs, the need for long-term care, and substantial changes in the affected person’s lifestyle. A dedicated AFFF lawsuit attorney at LLN can explain how to bring a legal claim to recover related expenses and losses after a diagnosis of AFFF-related cancer. If you think your medical issues are related to AFFF exposure, don’t wait to reach out to Lawsuit Legal News to learn more about your right to compensation.
Which PFAS Chemicals are Found in Aqueous Film Forming Foam?
The two most common forms of PFAS in firefighting foam are perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Both have been linked to the increased risk of cancer and are considered toxic. Several companies have pledged to phase out the use of PFOS and PFOA, but they are far from completely abandoned. Even once the current use of these chemicals has ended, old PFOA and PFOS will still persist in the environment for a long time to come.
AFFF Toxicity Proven to Accumulate and Last For Years
The PFAS found in AFFF are the primary reason why firefighting foam is so hazardous to your health. PFAS can build up in a person’s body over time and remain without breaking down. Research is still ongoing to determine the full effects of PFAS on people’s health, but studies have concluded that PFAS are carcinogenic and also cause disruption of many organ functions.
We know that any exposure to AFFF can be hazardous. However, incidental and isolated cases of exposure alone are usually not enough to cause cancer. Touching some AFFF foam alone will not immediately cause severe health issues, although it is highly recommended that people avoid any exposure to the substance if possible.
Cancer risks and other health issues become a strong concern after repeated exposure over a long period of time. This kind of danger usually happens as a result of working as a firefighter or serving in the military, where AFFF use is still a concern.
Who is At the Greatest Risk of Developing Cancer From AFFF?
AFFF is primarily used by firefighters, so they are at the highest risk for dangerous levels of exposure. Firefighters, in general, are exposed to dangerous substances in the course of their work, and despite the use of protective equipment, it is likely that they will come into contact with AFFF on a regular basis.
Firefighters can come into contact with AFFF while directly applying it to a fire, while preparing it for use, during the cleanup of the area and their protective clothing, and even just handling equipment that has become covered in the substance. As we know, even small amounts of exposure over the course of a career can add up and have a significant health impact on these first responders.
Part of AFFF’s function is to leave a film on the surfaces it contacts in order. This film works well not just to smother a flame but also to keep flammable surfaces from reigniting. This has posed a problem since its resilience and pervasiveness on everything it touches makes human exposure and eventual soil and water contamination more likely.
Which Illnesses Are Connected to AFFF Exposure?
AFFF is most notably tied to an increase in cancer risk. The following are the most common types of cancer that have been linked to AFFF exposure.
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Liver cancer
- Breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Prostate cancer
In addition to these various types of cancer, people with long-term exposure to AFFF are more likely to develop a number of other illnesses that include:
- Fertility issues
- Fetal and child developmental disorders
- High blood pressure
- Thyroid disease
Do You Have a Viable AFFF Lawsuit Against Manufacturers or Other Liable Parties?
Firefighting foam is a product that needlessly places firefighters at a high risk of developing severe health problems. Although firefighters understand they must work with a number of dangerous materials to perform their jobs, they have the right to know all potential risks to make the best decisions.
However, when the chemical manufacturers and distributors fail to fully disclose the potential health risks associated with normal AFFF use, their negligence has caused widespread harm to the people in our country who have dedicated their lives to saving others.
Firefighters, emergency responders, and military personnel who have been diagnosed with the listed cancers and illnesses associated with AFFF exposure are taking legal action to recover compensation for the damages they have suffered due to AFFF exposure.
Thousands of product liability lawsuits have been filed against 25 different companies, such as DuPont, 3m, Tyco, and Chemguard, that manufacture and sell AFFF products. The sheer number of federal lawsuits has led to the creation of a multidistrict litigation (MDL-2873) in South Carolina overseen by U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel. This MDL consolidates the many claims to make pretrial proceedings more efficient and consistent nationwide while also allowing the coordination of plaintiffs’ attorneys and judicial rulings.
The manufacturers of AFFF have already resolved many of the municipal water contamination claims brought by various cities and towns as a result of the damage caused to the local aquifers by firefighting foam. In fact, the very first municipal water contamination case was set to be tried on June 13, 2023 (City of Stuart v. 3M Co.) and was postponed as a large portion of municipal cases were being resolved.
What Damages Can You Claim Related to AFFF Exposure?
Those harmed by AFFF exposure usually suffer severe losses to their financial, physical, and even emotional quality of life. In a product liability lawsuit, financial losses caused by AFFF exposure are considered legal damages. The goal of product liability mass tort claims is to make injured plaintiffs whole by providing sufficient compensation from the responsible parties that caused the plaintiffs’ damages, including adverse health effects and the costs associated with treating such.
Allowable damages can involve tangible financial losses like medical bills, known as economic damages, or non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of quality of life, which do not have an easily attributable dollar value. An experienced product liability attorney can help you determine which damages you have suffered and place a value on your personal injury claim.
Some potential damages involved in these lawsuits include:
- Medical expenses – current and future
- Lost income – current and future
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earning ability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability
- Loss of consortium and family relationships
How Long Do You Have to File a Firefighting Foam Lawsuit?
Every state has created Statutes of Limitation that control how long an injured person can wait before filing a lawsuit to hold someone responsible for their injuries. The timeline that relates to your case will depend on many factors, including where you were injured, when you discovered your injuries and could link them to prior AFFF exposure, and many other details. To ensure you don’t miss your window of opportunity to bring a firefighting foam lawsuit, consult with one of the mass tort lawyers at LLN who can help you calculate the limitation period that controls your potential legal action.
How Much is Your AFFF Lawsuit Worth?
Because every person who has been exposed to AFFF has a different experience and is facing different medical concerns, we can’t say what your specific case is worth without learning more about you. During a free consultation with one of the LLN team members, we can gather more information to help us make an educated estimate of the potential value of your AFFF injury claim. How Much Does a Mass Tort Lawyer Cost?Don’t let the fear of paying a lawyer keep you from contacting the LLN mass tort team. We offer free consultations to ensure all your questions are answered, and we don’t get paid until we successfully resolve your injury claim. Since you won’t have to pay anything upfront, you have nothing to lose. Don’t risk your future. Reach out today.
Others Who May Experience AFFF Exposure and Bring an AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit
While firefighters are the most at-risk group for harmful AFFF exposure, other people also can come into contact with AFFF in sufficient amounts and recurrence that they may face serious health risks.
Military personnel are at high risk for AFFF exposure since this product is commonly used in military settings such as in airfields and on ships to combat potential fuel fires. Airport personnel can also be at risk for contact with AFFF since many airports have a history of using firefighting foam as well.
The LLN team also represents a number of airport workers who were exposed to high levels of PFAS as airport firefighters trained extensively with AFFF firefighting foam, which in turn impacted the drinking water.
Some Claimants Were Harmed by Exposure to Persistent AFFF in the Environment
AFFF is made with forever chemicals, which make it resistant to breaking down safely in the environment. AFFF that is not properly disposed of can easily seep into the water table and end up in the bodies of local residents and wildlife. Areas that see the regular use of AFFF, such as military bases, airports, and firefighter training facilities, have been tested and show dangerous levels of PFAS in the water.
People that live in the vicinity of sites where AFFF is used on a regular basis are at an increased risk of exposure to harmful PFAS that can increase their risk of cancer and other serious health concerns.
Who are the AFFF Manufacturers & Defendants
The LLN team is currently investigating claims involving the following AFFF manufacturers:
- Tyco Fire Products
- 3M Company
- Kiddr Fire Fighting
- Buckeye Fire Equipment
- Chemours Company
Contact an AFFF Lawsuit Lawyer at Lawsuit Legal News About Your Firefighting Foam Lawsuit Today
If you have been injured as a result of AFFF exposure, it’s in your best interests to contact an experienced firefighting foam lawyer with AFFF lawsuit experience as soon as possible. Partnering with a skilled attorney at Lawsuit Legal News will help you gather the necessary evidence to effectively prepare your firefighting foam cancer lawsuit and create a solid legal claim.
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