Firefighting Foam

AFFF Injury Lawsuit

If you or a loved one was exposed to firefighting foam and subsequently diagnosed with cancer, contact an attorney from TorHoerman Law for a free, no-obligation legal consultation today and find out if you qualify for a firefighting foam lawsuit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Class-B aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) are dangerous and contain PFAS chemicals that have been linked to a number of adverse health risks.

Yes, firefighting foam contains toxic chemicals called PFAS which are linked to a number of adverse health risks including cancer, birth defects, and chronic conditions.

A number of studies have found that AFFF exposure may be linked to an increased risk of a number of cancers including:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Testicle cancer
  • Thyroid cancer

Firefighter PFAS Exposure Lawsuit
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Firefighter PFAS Exposure Lawsuit

PFAS Contamination
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PFAS Contamination

Table of Contents

Firefighting Foam Lawsuit Plaintiffs Claim Cancer Risk

Firefighters, military personnel, chemical plant workers, and others exposed to Class B firefighting foams could be at risk for developing serious, long-term health problems.

The foams, known as aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF), have been used for decades to fight fires caused by highly flammable liquids and gasses.

While effective, AFFF also contains cancer-causing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that have been tied to birth defects, heart disease, hormonal imbalances, and other complications.

Government agencies have already started working to destroy PFAS and phase out firefighting foams.

Many people who have used or been exposed to AFFF at work and in their community now face complications from PFAS exposure.

These workers and their families were told that AFFS were safe, and instead, they are dealing with health problems and medical bills.

If you or a loved one were exposed to AFFF and later developed complications, you could be eligible for compensation for your pain and suffering.

Read on to learn more.

Firefighting Foam & PFAS

Class B firefighting foams, also known as aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF), are the most effective material for combating fires in flammable liquids and gasses.

The foam has been used for decades and helped save human lives and crucial infrastructure.

Despite its fire-fighting efficacy, AFFF have become phased out and banned in many parts of the country.

The foams contain toxic, man-made chemicals known as PFAS that are linked to environmental contamination and health complications such as cancer, heart disease, and birth defects.

What is Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF)?

Aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) are Class B firefighting foams that are used to fight high-hazard flammable liquid fires such as those caused by oil, gasoline, and jet fuel.

These foams are mixed with water to form an aqueous film that cuts off a fire’s source of oxygen, extinguishes it, and stops it from reigniting.

AFFF are common at fire stations, military sites, airports, and chemical manufacturing plants.

While AFFF are highly effective in fighting high-hazard flammable liquid fires, they have also become a source of concern due to their ties to health problems and environmental contamination.

AFFF contains synthetic chemicals known as PFAS.

These chemicals do not break down and have remained in the water, air, and soil.

High levels of exposure to PFAS have also been linked to a variety of potential negative health defects including cancer.

AFFF Environmental Contamination

AFFF have been used by fire departments, military personnel, and many other industries since the 1970s.

The persistent use of these foams, particularly on military bases and training sites, has led to PFAS making their way into the environment and local water supplies.

PFAS water contamination has made headlines in Chicago, St. Louis, and across the country.

What is PFAS?

PFAS, meaning perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are synthetic chemicals found in many consumer and industrial products.

The most common PFAS are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).

They are known for their ability to resist water, oil, and grease.

PFAS were commonly used for:

  • Stain-resistant fabrics
  • Cleaning products
  • Non-stick cookware
  • Cleaning products
  • Paints
  • Firefighting foams (AFFF)

While effective for their intended use, growing bodies of scientific evidence have documented PFAS as a toxic substance that is likely unsafe for human health.

PFAS are no longer manufactured in the United States.

Does Firefighting Foam Contain PFAS?

PFAS are active in many Class B firefighting foams (AFFF).

While some fire departments have switched to “modern fluorotelomer foams” that might be less toxic, the long shelf life of traditional, PFAS-containing AFFF means they are still stored and used at many work sites.

It’s not always easy to determine if firefighting foam contains PFAS, but it’s more likely if the ingredient list mentions C6, fluorosurfactants, or fluoroproteins.

Due to their potential toxicity, the U.S. Department of Defense is working to develop better PFAS-free AFFF alternatives.

Firefighting Foam Health Risks

Exposure to the chemicals in Class B firefighting foams (AFFF) has been tied to a number of serious, sometimes life-threatening complications.

The foams contain PFAS that have been labeled a public health concern by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, human exposure to PFAS might be associated with:

  • Increased chances of developing cancer
  • Negative immune system functioning
  • Disruption of hormonal balance
  • Liver damage
  • Increased cholesterol
  • Fertility problems and pregnancy-induced preeclampsia/hypertension
  • Issues with fetal and child development
  • Increased risk of thyroid disease and asthma

Injuries Linked to Firefighting Foam PFAS

The chance of developing health problems due to AFFF and subsequent PFAS exposure depends on several factors including the frequency and duration of exposure.

Growing bodies of science have linked PFAS to health complications with some indicating that even low-level exposure could be dangerous for humans.

PFAS can concentrate over time in the human body, with some having a half-life up to eight years.

Firefighting Foam Cancer Risk

A growing number of studies have linked the perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Class B firefighting foams (AFFF) to cancer risks.

Several studies on both occupational and community PFAS exposure have found increased rates of testicular and kidney cancers.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified PFOA, a common PFAS, and potentially carcinogenic (cancer-causing) to humans.

Cancers Linked to PFAS

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have noted increased risks of kidney and testicular cancers associated with exposure to PFAS.

Laboratory studies on animals have also suggested increased risks of thyroid, liver, and pancreatic cancers.

Research on PFAS exposure and cancer continues to develop.

Who is at Risk of Firefighting Foam Injuries?

Civilian and military firefighters are at the highest risk of developing complications from AFFF and PFAS exposure, especially if their workplaces did not provide the United States Fire Administration's recommended firefighter personal protective equipment (PPE).

Workers could also be at risk if they were in industries where AFFF was used to fight Class B fires such as:

  • Chemical manufacturing plants
  • Airports and airlines
  • Petroleum plants

PFAS have also become a major community and environmental issue, as PFAS have contaminated the tap water of at least 16 million people in 33 states and Puerto Rico and the groundwater in 38 states.

Suffered a Firefighting Foam Injury?

Many firefighter and military families — and their neighbors — worry that years of exposure to PFAS from firefighting foams have caused long-term damage.

Others have already developed complications and injuries from using the foams at work or having their water systems contaminated.

Victims of AFFF and PFAS exposure deserve justice, and there are resources available to help.

If you sustained injuries or developed chemical exposure injuries and complications from using, being exposed to, or having your community contaminated by AFFF firefighting foams, there are steps you can take to better your situation.

The following steps will help you to better heal and potentially earn compensation for your damages.

Read on to learn more.

Report Your Injury

Report and document your injuries and complications.

You should report your injuries to your local OSHA office as well as any government entities overseeing worker-related injuries and exposure complaints within your industry.

Be sure to report the exposure to your health care provider and have them conduct a thorough health screening on you.

Military veterans who developed complications they believe are from PFAS exposure during service can contact the Department of Veterans Affairs Environmental Health Coordinators and/or file a claim.

Mitigate your Injury

It’s crucial that you mitigate your injuries and complications.

Mitigation involves seeking medical care and following your doctor’s recommendations.

Document your complications and injuries (with photos, writing, etc.) and track your doctors' visits, medical treatments, medications, and any subsequent expenses.

This evidence will help you heal and gives you a stronger case in a potential AFFF lawsuit.

Contact a Firefighting Foam Injury Lawyer

Contact a Firefighting Foam Attorney to discuss your injuries, complications, and any other problems you might have developed due to exposure to PFAS in firefighting foams.

He or she will help you better understand your situation and if you have the potential for compensation from AFFF manufacturers, your employer, or other companies or agencies responsible for your PFAS exposure.

This will help determine if you should hire an AFFF attorney to pursue an AFFF lawsuit.

Hiring a Firefighting Foam Injury Lawyer

The choice of an attorney is an important one, so make sure that you do your due diligence before making a decision on who you want representing you.

When determining a firefighting foam lawyer, you should seek representation from a chemical exposure lawyer who is experienced, resourced, and prepared to fight for you.

Consider asking potential firefighting foam injury lawyers about their:

  • Experience litigating chemical exposure lawsuits
  • Firm's litigation history and winning history
  • Firm's resources
  • Firm's payment structure

The choice of an attorney is an important one.

That's why TorHoerman Law offers free, no-obligation case consultations for all potential clients.

Note that your state’s statute of limitations restricts the time window that you have to file a firefighting foam lawsuit, so do not hesitate to initiate this process by contacting an attorney right away.

Filing a Firefighting Foam Lawsuit

If you or a loved one have been exposed to PFAS from Class B firefighting foams (AFFF) and were subsequently diagnosed with related injuries or complications, you could be eligible for compensation through an AFFF lawsuit.

This compensation will help cover subsequent damages such as medical expenses and lost wages.

Contact an AFFF attorney with experience in toxic tort, chemical exposure, and personal injury lawsuits to discuss your potential case.

He or she will work diligently through the civil litigation process to prove liability and help ensure your case is as strong as possible.

TorHoerman Law, your AFFF Lawyer

TorHoerman Law is leading the fight for those facing complications due to PFAS and firefighting foam exposure.

Our attorneys have helped thousands of victims across all 50 states take on hundreds of companies that put workers, community members, and consumers at risk.

Over the past 11 years, we have helped our clients gain nearly $5 Billion in verdicts and negotiated settlements to help them get back on the path to recovery.

Contact TorHoerman Law to learn how we can serve you.

“Basic Information on PFAS.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 14 Jan. 2021, www.epa.gov/pfas/basic-information-pfas.

CBS Chicago. “Report: ‘Forever Chemicals’ Contaminate Drinking Water In Dozens Of Cities.” CBS Chicago, CBS Chicago, 23 Jan. 2020, chicago.cbslocal.com/2020/01/23/report-forever-chemicals-contaminate-drinking-water-in-dozens-cities/.

“DOD Funds Firefighting Foam Research for a PFAS-Free Alternative.” U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, www.defense.gov/Explore/News/Article/Article/2018096/dod-funds-firefighting-foam-research-for-a-pfas-free-alternative/#:~:text=Aqueous%20film%2Dforming%20foams%2C%20or,for%20per%2D%20and%20polyfluoroalkyl%20substances.

“EPA, U.S. Department of Defense, and State Partners Launch Technical Challenge Seeking Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS in Firefighting Foam.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 25 Aug. 2020, www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-us-department-defense-and-state-partners-launch-technical-challenge-seeking.

Ewg. “Interactive Map: PFAS Contamination Crisis: New Data Show 1,398 Sites in 49 States.” Interactive Map: PFAS Contamination Crisis: New Data Show 1,398 Sites in 49 States, www.ewg.org/interactive-maps/2019_pfas_contamination/.

“Firefighting Foam and PFAS.” PFAS Response – Firefighting Foam and PFAS, www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse/0,9038,7-365-86514-496805–,00.html.

GardnerReuters, Timothy, and Shutterstock.com. “Report: U.S. Drinking Water Widely Contaminated with ‘Forever Chemicals’.” STLtoday.com, 22 Jan. 2020, www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/report-u-s-drinking-water-widely-contaminated-with-forever-chemicals/article_45384354-50ee-5f20-8ef3-e3dc113c152a.html.

“The Hidden Dangers in Firefighting Foam.” U.S. Fire Administration, 11 Feb. 2020, www.usfa.fema.gov/training/coffee_break/021120.html#:~:text=Certain%20PFAS%20can%20accumulate%20and,testicular%2C%20kidney%20and%20bladder%20cancers.

“Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS).” Illinois.gov, www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/water-quality/pfas/Pages/default.aspx.

PFOS and PFOA in Missouri. Missouri Department of Natural Resources, regform.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Medlock_E_-10am_-PFOS-and-PFOA-in-Missouri_REGFORM_091218-1.pdf.

“Potential Health Effects of PFAS Chemicals.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 June 2020, www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/health-effects/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.atsdr.cdc.gov%2Fpfas%2Fhealth-effects.html.

 

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