[2023 Guide] AFFF Side Effects, Health Risks, & Cancers

Use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify to file an AFFF Lawsuit.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

Intro to AFFF Side Effects, Health Risks, & Cancers

On this page, we’ll discuss the most common AFFF side effects (from exposure), correlation between Aqueous Film-forming Foam (AFFF) and cancer, non-cancer health effects from exposure to the toxic firefighting foam, and much more.

AFFF Side Effects & Health Problems: Firefighting Foam Lawsuit

Individuals who were exposed to toxic firefighting foam and subsequently developed cancer or other related illnesses are filing AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuits against manufacturers.

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals used in the manufacturing of some AFFF firefighting foams have been linked to severe health conditions such as kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid disease, liver damage, immune system deficiencies, and more.

AFFF Side Effects Health Risks and Cancers

This blog post aims to shed light on the side effects, health risks, and cancers associated with AFFF exposure.

By understanding the potential dangers, those affected can take appropriate action to protect their health and seek justice.

We will also discuss the importance of legal representation and filing lawsuits against responsible parties to secure financial compensation for the damages caused by PFAS contamination.

If you or a loved one were exposed to toxic firefighting foam and subsequently developed cancer or other health problems, you may be eligible to file an AFFF Lawsuit.

Contact TorHoerman Law today for a free consultation with the best AFFF lawyers.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for the AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit instantly.

Our AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawyers are here to help guide you through the legal process and protect your best interests.

We understand the severity of health issues related to toxic firefighting foam exposure, and we are sensitive to the needs of those filing AFFF Lawsuits.

Reach out to us for more information and find out how our firefighting foam cancer lawyers can help you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Several different AFFF side effects, health problems, and types of cancer have been linked to PFAS chemicals present in many AFFF firefighting foams.

Cancers linked to AFFF exposure include: 

  • Kidney cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Breast cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Potentially other types of cancer

Other health problems include: 

  • Reproductive and fertility issues
  • Developmental issues
  • Immune system deficiencies
  • Skin and eye issues
  • Other health problems

AFFF Lawsuits are filed against toxic firefighting foam manufacturers for the various health problems linked to exposure.

AFFF Lawsuits allege that exposure to toxic firefighting foam caused cancer and other health problems, and that AFFF manufacturers failed to warn users of the potential for devastating health effects.

These lawsuits are consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the US District Court for the District of South Carolina.

If you were exposed to AFFF firefighting foam and subsequently developed cancer or other related health problems, you may be eligible to file an AFFF Lawsuit.

Use the chatbot on this page for an instant case evaluation to see if you qualify for the AFFF Lawsuit in under two minutes.

You can also contact TorHoerman Law for a free, no-obligation consultation.

AFFF Foam Cancer Lawsuit FAQ: What Is AFFF?
Learn More

AFFF Foam Cancer Lawsuit FAQ: What Is AFFF?

AFFF PFAS Lawsuit: PFAS Exposure Symptoms
Learn More

AFFF PFAS Lawsuit: PFAS Exposure Symptoms

AFFF Lawsuit Update | Firefighting Foam Lawsuit
Learn More

AFFF Lawsuit Update | Firefighting Foam Lawsuit

Table of Contents

Toxic Chemicals in AFFF Firefighting Foam Linked to Cancer and Other Health Issues

Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) may contain toxic chemicals.

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS chemicals) are known for their resistance to heat, oil, and water, making them effective in suppressing and extinguishing flammable liquid fires.

However, these so-called “forever chemicals” have gained attention due to their persistent nature and potential adverse health effects.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is concerned about the potential human health risks of exposure to PFAS chemicals since they can contaminate water, air, soil, and food sources.

Traces of these toxic chemicals have also been found in the bloodstream of both humans and animals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also states that several studies linked PFAS exposure to various health issues, including liver damage, thyroid disease, reproduction issues, and immune system dysfunctions.

These dangerous chemicals can enter the human body through ingestion, inhalation, or skin contact.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) voices concerns about the potential harmful effects of PFAS.

Animal studies show that PFAS contamination is higher in animals than in humans, causing liver and immune system damage, decreased birth weight, congenital disabilities, delayed development, and neonatal deaths in lab animals.

AFFF Side Effects Health Risks and Cancers

Exposure to PFAS containing firefighting foam may be linked to the following cancers:

Human studies suggest that high levels of particular PFAS chemicals can lead to the following:

  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Modified liver enzymes
  • Pre-eclampsia (increased risk of high blood pressure) in pregnant women
  • Small decreases in infant birth weights
  • Declined vaccine response in children

More scientific study is needed to understand the full scope of health effects related to PFAS exposure.

Many health, environmental, and governmental organizations are still conducting studies to better understand the potential risks of PFAS contamination.

Further regulation and action regarding PFAS exposure are being implemented, including by the National Firefighter Registry (NFR).

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) established the NFR in 2018, thanks to the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act.

It seeks to study the correlation between firefighters who were consistently exposed to AFFF and cancer development.

AFFF Side Effects after Exposure

Exposure to AFFF can lead to immediate side effects, affecting different parts of the human body.

These AFFF side effects may manifest shortly after exposure and can vary in severity depending on the individual’s sensitivity and duration of exposure.

AFFF Side Effects Health Risks and Cancers

Skin and Eye Irritation

Contact with AFFF can cause skin irritation, redness, itching, and rashes. In some cases, it may lead to chemical burns. Additionally, AFFF can cause eye irritation, redness, itching, and temporary vision problems if it comes into direct contact with the eyes.

Respiratory Issues and Breathing Difficulties

Difficulty breathing is a common side effect of AFFF exposure.

Inhalation of AFFF foam or its vapors can irritate the respiratory system, leading to coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

Individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions may experience exacerbated symptoms.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Ingesting AFFF-contaminated water or food can result in gastrointestinal problems, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

These symptoms may persist briefly or become chronic with prolonged exposure.

Those who have ingested AFFF must seek medical attention immediately if these side effects occur, as AFFF may cause internal damage.

Neurological Symptoms

Some individuals exposed to AFFF may experience neurological symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating.

These symptoms may affect daily functioning and quality of life.

More severe neurological issues may persist depending on the duration and severity of exposure.

Aqueous Film-forming Foam (AFFF) and Cancer

Numerous studies have established a link between AFFF exposure and various types of cancer.

The toxic substances present in AFFF, particularly PFAS, have been associated with the development of cancerous cells.

Understanding the potential cancers that may arise from AFFF exposure is essential, as early detection and treatment are crucial for improving outcomes.

AFFF Side Effects Health Risks and Cancers

Kidney Cancer

Exposure to AFFF has been linked to an increased risk of kidney cancer.

The chemicals in AFFF can accumulate in the kidneys, leading to the development of malignant tumors over time.

In a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), participants with the highest concentrations of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a type of PFAS, in their blood were more than twice as likely to develop kidney cancer than those with the lowest concentrations.

Bladder Cancer

Prolonged exposure to AFFF may also elevate the risk of bladder cancer.

PFAS chemicals can accumulate in the bladder and cause cellular changes that can lead to cancerous growth.

A 3M study discovered increased bladder cancer mortality among workers frequently exposed to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), a type of PFAS.

Liver Cancer

Research suggests a correlation between AFFF exposure and liver cancer.

The liver plays a vital role in filtering toxins from the body, and the accumulation of PFAS chemicals can contribute to liver damage and the development of cancer cells.

Some animal studies indicate that these dangerous chemicals increase the risk of fatty liver and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by altering amino acid, hepatic lipid, and glucose metabolism.

Prostate Cancer

PFAS exposure has been associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer in males.

Many organizations are still looking into the exact mechanisms behind this link, but it underscores the potential harm of PFAS chemicals.

A study found that these forever chemicals play a significant role in the development of prostate cancer and the progression of tumors in men exposed to AFFF and PFAS.

Testicular Cancer

Some research suggests a potential connection between PFAS exposure and an elevated risk of testicular cancer.

For example, an ecological study found that men living in areas with PFAS contamination have an increased risk of developing testicular cancer.

However, further studies are needed to establish a definitive causal relationship.

Colorectal Cancer

Individuals exposed to AFFF may face an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Ingesting PFAS-contaminated water or food can accumulate these toxic chemicals in the colon, potentially contributing to the development of cancerous cells.

One study discovered perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) can induce colorectal cancer cell invasion, suggesting a link between PFAS contamination and colorectal cancer.

Pancreatic Cancer

AFFF exposure has been associated with an elevated risk of pancreatic cancer.

The pancreas plays a crucial role in digestion and hormone regulation, and the accumulation of PFAS chemicals can disrupt its normal function and increase the likelihood of cancer formation.

According to a Carcinogenesis study, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) exposure can lead to increases in the pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) area, promoting the progression of pancreatic cancer.

Thyroid Cancer

PFAS chemicals found in AFFF have been linked to an increased risk of thyroid cancer.

These chemicals can interfere with the thyroid gland’s hormone production and function, potentially leading to the development of cancerous growths.

A study in the Toxics journal suggests that PFAS exposure disrupts thyroid hormone physiology and causes carcinogenic effects through immunosuppression, oxidative damage, and cellular pathway disruption.

Non-cancer Health Effects of Exposure to the Toxic Firefighting Foam

In addition to the increased risk of cancer, AFFF exposure can result in various non-cancerous health effects.

These health issues can significantly impact an individual’s well-being and quality of life.

AFFF Side Effects Health Risks and Cancers

Eye and Skin Problems

Depending on the duration and intensity of AFFF exposure, individuals may experience eye and skin issues.

PFAS exposure can cause persistent eye irritation, conjunctivitis, and skin problems such as rashes, itching, and chemical burns.

Continued exposure can lead to chronic dermatological issues and discomfort.

Endocrine Disruption and Hormonal Imbalances

PFAS chemicals in AFFF can cause endocrine disruption, affecting the body’s hormone production and regulation.

This disruption can lead to hormonal imbalances, fertility problems, and complications during pregnancy.

The more prolonged the exposure, the greater the risk of developing hormonal imbalances and endocrine-related issues.

Liver and Kidney Damage

Prolonged exposure to AFFF can result in liver and kidney damage.

These vital organs are responsible for filtering toxins from the body, and the accumulation of PFAS chemicals can impair their function and contribute to long-term health complications.

These complications develop into irreversible damage if left untreated.

Reproductive and Developmental Issues

AFFF exposure may impact reproductive health and development.

Studies have suggested a potential association between PFAS exposure and reduced fertility, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and developmental issues in infants and children.

These issues can have a lasting impact on the health and development of mothers and babies exposed to AFFF.

Immune System Impairment

PFAS chemicals in AFFF can compromise the immune system’s function, making individuals more susceptible to infections and autoimmune disorders.

Reduced immune function can lead to increased vulnerability to various illnesses.

Note that the extent of immune system damage depends on the length and intensity of PFAS exposure.

Who Does AFFF Exposure Affect?

Several groups of individuals are at a higher risk of PFAS exposure due to the nature of their occupations or proximity to locations where AFFF firefighting foam products are heavily used.

AFFF Side Effects Health Risks and Cancers

Military Firefighters and Personnel

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the U.S. military helped develop aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) in the 1960s.

Since then, military bases have been using toxic firefighting foam products for firefighting training exercises and operations.

Military firefighters and other military personnel exposed to AFFF during their service may be at an increased risk of developing associated health problems.

Firefighters and First Responders

Civilian firefighters and first responders are frequently exposed to AFFF during firefighting and emergency response activities.

Even though they wear personal protective equipment and follow safety protocols, they are still at risk.

Repeated and prolonged occupational exposure to AFFF can lead to severe health complications.

Airport and Industrial Workers

AFFF is commonly used in airports and industrial settings to combat fuel-based fires.

Workers in these environments, including aircraft rescue and firefighting personnel and industrial firefighters, may face significant exposure to AFFF and its toxic chemicals.

These individuals should take the necessary safety precautions while working in these settings.

Communities Near Areas With High AFFF Usage

Residents living near areas with high AFFF usage may experience indirect exposure through contaminated water sources or environmental contamination.

These locations include fire training facilities, airports, chemical plants, and industrial sites.

PFAS contamination in these areas occurs when the foam enters water sources like rivers, lakes, and groundwater or is released into the air.

Do You Qualify for the Firefighting Foam Lawsuit?

If you have been affected by AFFF exposure and subsequently developed cancer or related illnesses, it is crucial to consult with experienced firefighting foam lawyers to protect your rights and pursue justice.

They can help you hold responsible parties accountable and seek compensation for the damages caused by AFFF exposure.

Qualified firefighting foam attorneys are experienced in AFFF litigation and can provide guidance, support, and representation throughout the legal process.

AFFF Side Effects Health Risks and Cancers

They can assess your AFFF foam lawsuit, gather evidence, and navigate complex legal procedures on your behalf.

Firefighting foam cancer lawyers know the scientific research, regulations, and legal precedents of AFFF Lawsuits and its health effects and understand the hardships of a cancer diagnosis.

They will help you file an AFFF lawsuit against the responsible parties, where you may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Updates on the AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuits

AFFF Side Effects Health Risks and Cancers

There are more than 4,700 AFFF firefighting foam cases, including personal injury claims and municipal water contamination cases.

Individual AFFF lawsuits are consolidated into an AFFF firefighting foam MDL (multidistrict litigation).

The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina oversees the AFFF MDL.

TorHoerman Law: Your AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawyers

Exposure to aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) can have severe health consequences, including an increased risk of cancer and other related illnesses.

If you have been exposed to AFFF and developed cancer or other health issues, you may be eligible to file an AFFF Lawsuit.

Contact TorHoerman Law today for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for the firefighting foam cancer lawsuit instantly.

Our expert AFFF lawyers understand the importance of seeking justice and we promise fight for your legal rights.

We understand the complexities of firefighting foam cancer lawsuits and can provide reliable advice and representation throughout the legal process.

Reach out to us for more information.

TorHoerman Law: Your Firefighting Foam Attorney

Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law


AFFF Foam Cancer Lawsuit FAQ: What Is AFFF?

June 13, 2023
Learn More

June 13, 2023

AFFF Foam Cancer Lawsuit FAQ: What Is AFFF?

AFFF PFAS Lawsuit: PFAS Exposure Symptoms

June 13, 2023
Learn More

June 13, 2023

AFFF PFAS Lawsuit: PFAS Exposure Symptoms

AFFF Lawsuit Update | Firefighting Foam Lawsuit

July 26, 2023
Learn More

July 26, 2023

AFFF Lawsuit Update | Firefighting Foam Lawsuit


Tom Lewis

TorHoerman Law was responsible for handling a medical case for our family. I was extremely impressed with their professionalism and ability to react quickly. They also did a nice job keeping us updated with the case throughout the process. This was the first time experiencing a situation like this and Tor Hoerman law did an excellent job from start to finish.

Jordan Terry

TorHoerman Law is an extraordinary law firm – a firm that truly makes the client’s best interests the primary concern. Their team of personal injury lawyers are experienced, personable, and well versed in a range of litigation areas. They are supported by a dedicated team of staff that are as equally friendly and helpful. I would recommend TorHoerman Law for any personal injury litigation needs.

Dave Woodley

All of my questions were answered quickly and in a way I could understand. Steve and the entire staff were friendly and professional.

Jordan Butler

I highly recommend this law firm! The attorneys and staff at THL worked hard, communicated every step of the process, kept me well informed at all times, and exceeded all expectations! The staff is kind, considerate, professional, and very experienced. Look no further, call now!

Maddy Moeller

Top-notch, hardworking attorneys!

Karen Hersman

A wonderful and professional legal team. They helped me when I needed expert legal representation! Thank you TorHoerman Law!

We'll Help You Balance The Scales of Justice

We're ready to fight for you. We're ready to be your ally. And we're ready to start right now.

Dont' waste time, contact our law offices today.

Edwardsville, IL

Chicago, IL

St. Louis, MO

Disclaimer: The contents of this webpage have been prepared by TorHoerman Law, LLC for informational purposes only. None of this information is intended as either legal or medical advice or opinions. No attorney/client relationship is established with use of this website. Sending or receiving information through this site, posting to our blogs/news site does not establish an attorney/client relationship. An attorney/client relationship with TorHoerman Law is established only by an express and written agreement by TorHoerman Law to represent you. Our attorneys make a case-by-case assessment of any claims and results may vary depending on the facts concerning any case. The attorneys at TorHoerman Law are licensed to practice in Illinois, Missouri, and California. In some circumstances, cases may be sent to other qualified lawyers. In those circumstances, TorHoerman Law maintains joint responsibility.