Firefighting Foam PFAS Cancer Concerns

Firefighting Foam PFAS Cancer Concerns

If you have been exposed to Aqueous Film Forming Foam, also known as AFFF, through a firefighting or military career or by drinking water contaminated with AFFF for an extended period of time, you may be facing serious medical issues. The toxic chemicals in AFFF include known carcinogens which can cause a variety of cancers and other medical conditions.

The Lawsuit Legal News team created this comprehensive guide to the types of PFAS cancer affiliated with AFFF exposure to help those affected understand the facts and their possible legal rights. For more general information about AFFF injury lawsuits, be sure to check out our AFFF FAQ page as well.

Toxic Chemicals in AFFF Firefighting Foam are Linked to PFAS Cancer

For almost 30 years, medical studies have consistently shown that firefighting foam which contains PFAS is extremely harmful to human health. More than a dozen different firefighting foam cancers have been linked to people who possess a higher-than-average volume of PFAS in their blood system. 

According to the studies, PFAS chemicals have been linked to several types of cancer including:

  • Renal or kidney cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Prostate cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer (colon and/or rectal cancer)
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Uterine or endometrial cancer

If you are a firefighter who has used cancer-causing AFFF firefighting foam and you’re dealing with these serious medical conditions, be sure to share your AFFF exposure history with your doctor to help them understand the cause of your cancer and create the best treatment plan possible.

A Guide To Different Firefighting Foam Cancers.

Renal (Kidney) Cancer 

In the most extensive investigation to date regarding the association between firefighting foam and kidney cancer risk, researchers have uncovered compelling evidence. Their findings suggest that individuals with elevated levels of PFAS in their blood serum face more than double the risk of developing kidney cancer compared to those with lower PFAS concentrations.

Testicular Cancer 

Scientific research has previously hinted at a potential link between exposure to firefighting foam and testicular cancer. However, the precise strength of this connection remains under ongoing scrutiny. Currently, numerous studies are in progress, including a significant research endeavor by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that involves 800 U.S. Air Force veterans. The goal is to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship between blood PFAS levels and the heightened risk of testicular cancer.

Pancreatic Cancer 

Similar to the kidneys and the liver, PFAS compounds can accumulate within the pancreas over time due to prolonged exposure. Both human and animal studies have demonstrated that PFAS chemicals can actively disrupt the endocrine and immune systems, placing added stress on vital organs like the pancreas.

Research has also highlighted the connection between long-term PFAS exposure and the development of cancerous cells within the pancreas. The buildup of PFAS within the pancreas can induce a condition known as oxidative stress, which impairs the body's ability to counteract carcinogens and promotes the progression of cancer.

Bladder Cancer 

A groundbreaking report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shed light on elevated cancer rates among firefighters, particularly in relation to urinary and bladder cancer when compared to the general U.S. population.

In an extensive study focused on PFAS-contaminated water within specific communities, researchers identified an increased risk of bladder cancer among both males and females, further substantiating the compelling link between PFAS exposure and bladder cancer.


Among those most vulnerable to PFAS-related cancers, firefighters have emerged as a high-risk group with increased rates of leukemia. According to the CDC, the more fires a firefighter confronts, the greater their exposure to hazardous carcinogens, including PFAS. Consequently, firefighters face a heightened risk of developing leukemia in comparison to the general population.


A growing body of research suggests that higher concentrations of PFAS in the bloodstream may correlate with several cancer types, including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a debilitating disease that assaults the body's immune system.

One notable study, involving 70,000 individuals residing in close proximity to a chemical plant producing specific PFAS compounds, uncovered a heightened incidence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Prostate Cancer 

Firefighters face exposure to a multitude of carcinogens while performing their duties, thereby elevating their susceptibility to specific cancer types. A recent comprehensive report on firefighter health hazards conducted by the CDC has revealed a noteworthy correlation between firefighters under the age of 65 and the occurrence of both bladder and prostate cancers.

Furthermore, accumulating evidence indicates a link between elevated levels of PFOA, a particular PFAS chemical, and an increased risk of prostate cancer, along with higher prostate cancer mortality rates. The emergence of prostate cancer is a pivotal factor driving firefighters to pursue legal action against the manufacturers of firefighting foam through PFAS lawsuits.

Liver Cancer 

In a comprehensive 13-year toxicological study that involved 120 workers exposed to PFAS, researchers uncovered compelling evidence linking higher PFAS concentrations in the bloodstream to the development of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Furthermore, additional research has demonstrated that PFAS can inflict damage on the overall immune system, including the liver, which plays a critical role in processing and filtering harmful chemicals entering the body.

Breast Cancer 

Breast cancer, the most prevalent cancer among women in the western world, has long been associated with exposure to various toxins and pollutants, including PFAS. These chemicals can disrupt hormone levels, weakening the body's ability to combat pathogens and contributing to the onset of breast cancer.

Colorectal Cancer 

In a recent extensive study, a statistically significant link was identified between PFAS exposure and the diagnosis of colorectal cancer. While ongoing research aims to further elucidate the scope of this connection, initial findings do support a probable correlation between PFAS and the development of colorectal cancer.

Thyroid Cancer 

Known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), certain carcinogens like PFAS have been consistently linked to an elevated risk of various firefighting foam cancers, including thyroid cancer. These EDCs can disrupt the proper functioning of the thyroid, resulting in hormonal imbalances.

Uterine or Endometrial Cancer 

Exposure to firefighting foam has raised concerns about potential health risks for women as well. Uterine or endometrial cancer, a condition primarily affecting the lining of the uterus, has come under scrutiny in relation to PFAS exposure. While research is ongoing, early findings suggest a concerning association between elevated levels of PFAS and an increased risk of uterine or endometrial cancer. This growing concern has prompted heightened attention to the safety of firefighting foam and its potential impact on women's health, leading to further investigations into the matter.

**Important: PFAS can also suppress the immune system, limiting the body’s natural ability to fight back against carcinogens.

Can You Participate in the PFAS Firefighting Foam Cancer Litigation?

Because of their frequent use of PFAS-containing firefighter foam, firefighters are the group facing the highest risk of developing firefighting foam cancer. However, we know that other innocent people may have also been exposed to AFFF which has led to a serious PFAS cancer diagnosis

In order to file an AFFF lawsuit against the manufacturers of firefighting foam, you must have been exposed to PFAS-containing firefighting foam and diagnosed with pancreatic, kidney, testicular, thyroid, bladder, breast, colon, liver, or prostate cancer, or leukemia or lymphoma.

Those who bring an AFFF injury lawsuit, including firefighters or others who have developed cancer as a result of being exposed to firefighting foam may be able to recover financial compensation to help pay their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and much more.

If you or someone you love has developed PFAS cancer, and you believe AFFF may have been the cause, it’s important to seek legal assistance as quickly as possible. Due to state laws known as statutes of limitations, firefighting foam cancer victims only have a limited window of opportunity to file a PFAS cancer lawsuit.

The legal team associated with Lawsuit Legal News has more than 120 years of combined experience litigating mass tort lawsuits such as AFFF cases. Our attorneys have fought for thousands of innocent victims facing injuries or battling diseases caused by someone else. 

Lawsuit Legal News was created to inform and support individuals who have been injured by negligent and careless corporations seeking profits instead of making safe products. Our legal team works hard to maximize the compensation our clients receive, regardless of the type of claim they file. 

Our mission is to provide the information, knowledge, support, and guidance needed to ensure you can focus on what matters the most in your life — your wellbeing and your family. Reach out by calling 866-467-0943 or complete our simple online contact form for a free consultation today.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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