Firefighting Foam Contamination: Who’s at Risk?

Many think firefighters are the only group of people at risk of exposure to toxic firefighting foam. However, recent reports discovered people residing around areas that use AFFF foam have high levels of “forever chemicals” in their blood.

For decades military bases have been using and stockpiling firefighting foam for training and firefighting purposes. Now, researchers have discovered chemicals in AFFF foam can cause cancer and other severe side effects.

Since the 1940’s manufacturers of firefighting foam added perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to AFFF. PFAS are human-made chemicals that can be resistant to grease, oil, water, and heat.

However, PFAS have been found to build up inside of the body and never break down, causing individuals’ cancer diagnoses. Across the country individuals are finding that their exposure to PFAS in firefighting foam has caused their cancer diagnoses, including kidney, liver, and testicular cancer.

Airport, military, and civilian firefighters are not the only individuals at risk of toxic firefighting foam exposure. While firefighters are at high risk of developing cancer from PFAS in AFFF, property owners and communities around military bases, airports and incinerators where PFAS firefighting foam is used and burned could be at risk of exposure.

A report in Chemical & Engineering News discovered that “Airports and military bases use large amounts of firefighting foams for training purposes, and in some cases, the perfluorinated surfactants have slipped into groundwater and surface water supplies,” potentially putting surrounding communities in danger.

Firefighting foam runoff can contaminate well water and public drinking water. This can potentially cause cancer in people exposed to PFAS in firefighting foam.

In fact, in 2016 the military warned that there could be potential firefighting foam contamination near 664 different military sites across the nation.  AFFF was commonly used during training exercises at these facilities, and the toxic chemicals may have contaminated water in surrounding communities.

Were You Exposed to Toxic Firefighting Foam?

If you or a loved one was exposed to toxic firefighting foam and developed cancer, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. According to allegations brought forward in firefighting foam lawsuits, AFFF manufacturers knew about the dangers of PFAS in firefighting foam and still sold toxic foam to the public. Because of their negligence, thousand of individuals in the U.S. could be at risk of developing cancer, requiring constant medical monitoring and treatment.

At Justice for Firefighters, we’re here to make sure AFFF manufactures are held accountable for their negligence. We fight aggressively for your right to compensation for your injuries, so you have your best chance at recovery and healing. We take the hassle out of filing a claim for you so you can focus on your life, not cutting through the red tape of the justice system.

To speak to a legal professional today about whether you may be able to recover compensation, contact us today at 1.800.935.3533. We offer free, no-obligation case evaluations and have live professionals standing by 24/7 to answer your questions and concerns.

Which Companies are Responsible for PFAS in Firefighting Foam?

In recent years researchers have found that chemicals in firefighting foams, or aqueous film forming foams (AFFF), are potentially carcinogenic and may contribute to firefighters and exposed individuals’ cancer diagnoses. For decades many of the most popular firefighting foams on the market have contained per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), chemicals which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicate can cause cancer and other adverse symptoms in those exposed. Some of the most at-risk individuals for firefighting foam cancer are military, local, and industrial firefighters.

According to firefighting foam cancer lawsuits being filed across the nation, AFFF manufacturers knew about the dangers of PFAS chemicals for decades, potentially back to when they were first introduced in the 1940’s. However, these companies continued to make and sell them without properly warning the public about the health risks. For example, the state of New Hampshire is suing eight companies for PFAS in firefighting foams, saying that their products were defective and unreasonable dangerous to consumers and users.

Firefighting Foam Manufacturers

If a company failed to take proper precautions to protect consumers from health risks, they can be held responsible for your injuries. Some manufacturers named as defendants in firefighting foam lawsuits across the nation include the following:

Were You Diagnosed with Cancer After Exposure to AFFF?

If you are a firefighter, were exposed to PFAS in firefighting foam, and developed cancer, you may be eligible to file a claim against companies that made firefighting foam and contributed to your injuries.

A company’s lack of proper safety warning should never define your suffering and injuries. Hold the negligent responsible and call us today. The personal injury attorneys at Justice for Firefighters have decades of combined experience fighting for the rights of injured individuals. For your free case consultation, contact us today at 1.800.935.3533.

What are PFAS in Firefighting Foam?

Across America, firefighters are finding that their various cancer diagnoses were caused by chemicals in firefighting foam, ones that researchers say stick around in the human body forever: PFAS. But, what actually are PFAS, and how have they caused the suffering of potentially thousands of firefighters across the United States?

PFAS Definition

According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), PFAS are a type of man-made chemicals found in products commonly used by industry and consumers. PFAS stands for per- and polyfluroalkyl substances and have been manufactured in the United States since the 1940’s. PFAS have been found to be resilient in the environment and human body, so they don’t break down over time, hence how they received the nickname of "forever chemicals."

How Do I Get Exposed to PFAS?

Researchers found many PFAS are resistant to oil, grease, heat, and water, so PFAS have been used in a wide range of products all over the world. Most people get exposed to PFAS through the products they are in, but others can be exposed to PFAS by eating food or water contaminated by PFAS.

Products PFAS have been used in include:

List of PFAS

There are over 5,000 kinds of PFAS, and researchers are still learning about the abilities of each one every day. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists the following three PFAS as the most produced and extensively studied of PFAS:

What Do PFAS Do to Your Body?

Because PFAS have been found to not break down in the body, they accumulate over time and can cause severe health effects. According to the EPA, PFAS have been linked to the following serious health conditions:

PFAS Cancer

Across the country, firefighters and others exposed to PFAS are coming forward, finding their cancer diagnoses were caused by their exposure to PFAS in firefighting foam and other products. Claims made by injured firefighters across the country claim PFAS caused them to develop the following kinds of cancer:

Why Do I Need Legal Help after Being Exposed to PFAS?

If you were exposed to PFAS in firefighting foams or other products and developed cancer, it may be in your best interest to file a claim against the product’s manufacturer. Allegations say many firefighting foam manufacturers knew the severe health risks of PFAS and failed to warn the public.

If you developed cancer after exposure to firefighting foam, reach out to us today for your free, no-obligation case evaluation. We can walk you through the process of obtaining justice, so you don’t suffer in silence! Contact our legal representatives today at 1.800.935.3533.

Chemicals in Firefighting Foam ‘Stay in Blood and Don’t Leave,’ Scientist Warns

A former scientist for DuPont Industries reveals man-made chemicals frequently found in firefighting foam can stay in the blood and never leave, leading to severe health issues. Now, DuPont faces legal fire for knowingly selling products with PFAS and failing to disclose the health risks of PFAS exposure.

Aria Bendrix for Business Insider reports the story of Glenn Evans, a former chemical engineer for DuPont Industries. While working for DuPont, Evans designed coatings for food packaging products using paper.

However, Evans discovered that the chemical they used to coat these products, Zonly RP, contained a type of per-and polyfluroalkyl substance (PFAS). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports PFAS has been linked to severe health issues including cancer, reproduction, liver damage, and developmental issues.

Evans found that Zonyl RP was entering the public’s food at three times the rate that DuPont told to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Testifying before Congress in July of 2019, DuPont has allegedly known for decades the dangers of PFAS and failed to communicate the risks to the public. Evans called for Congress to ban the use of PFAS.

"It doesn't go away. This is a man-made chemical," said Evers. "We just pass the baton to our generations of kids."

To read Aria Bendrix’s report for Business Insider, click here.

History of PFAS

PFAS gained popularity in the United States in the 1940s. Manufacturing companies frequently used them in products after discovering they could resist grease, stains, heat, and even water. PFAS have been included in many plastic products, food packaging, furniture, and firefighting foam.

However, studies over the last few decades have found PFAS stay around and can stay in water and air for years on end. Since this discovery, PFAS have been dubbed “forever chemicals.” Similarly, if one inhales PFAS, they could potentially stay in the body forever.

PFAS in Firefighting Foam

PFAS in firefighting foam has become a newfound epidemic in the last few years. Because of PFAS’s ability to resist both heat, grease, and water, manufacturers have used PFAS in firefighting foams to battle grease-based fires. Industries that use firefighting foams not only include local firefighting departments, but military, airport, and industrial firefighters.

However, firefighters are starting to find that their cancer diagnoses were caused by their exposure to firefighting foam. According to recent lawsuits, PFAS in firefighting foam has caused firefighters to develop cancers including testicular, bladder, ovarian, and kidney cancer among others.

PFAS has been used in firefighting foams since the 1940’s, so thousands of firefighters could be at risk of PFAS in firefighting foam cancer. If you were exposed to firefighting foam containing PFAS and developed cancer, help is at hand. You may be entitled to a cash settlement to cover financial burdens caused by your cancer. Connect with us today and we’ll answer any questions you may have about whether you may be entitled to file a claim for firefighting foam cancer. Call now at 1.800.935.3533.