Firefighters have long been a symbol of courage and bravery, but they may be at risk of developing cancer due to exposure to a particular type of firefighting foam. This article will explore the link between firefighter foam and cancer from a legal perspective.
It will discuss the potential health risks associated with exposure to the foam, the legal implications of these risks, and the potential for legal action to be taken against those responsible for the exposure. Finally, it will explore the potential remedies available to those affected by the foam.
What Is AFFF?
AFFF stands for Aqueous Film Forming Foam, a type of firefighting foam used to extinguish fires. AFFF contains chemicals known as PFAS. PFAS are toxic chemicals, and AFFF has been used in firefighting foam since the 1970s. This has led to PFAS being present in fire stations, airports, military bases, and other locations where AFFF was used for training.
As time went on, it was discovered that these toxic chemicals could cause cancer when ingested or inhaled over long periods. Because of this link between cancer and exposure to PFAS-containing products like AFFF, many exposed people began filing lawsuits against the companies responsible for producing them or using them in their activities.
What Chemicals Are in AFFF?
AFFF comprises three main components, surfactants, fluorosurfactants, and solvents. Surfactants are chemicals that reduce the surface tension of water, allowing it to spread more quickly.
Fluorosurfactants are added to increase the foam’s ability to stick to surfaces and reduce the foam’s surface tension. Solvents are added to help break down the hydrocarbons that are present in the fire, allowing the foam to spread more easily and reducing the amount of heat released. These components are highly toxic and should be handled with care.
While surfactants, fluorosurfactants, and solvents are the three standard chemicals, many others are present in AFFF. According to a study published in the NCBI journal, most PFAS toxicity analysis is done on a chemical-by-chemical basis.
But many exclusive AFFF foams have a wide range of unidentified PFAS congeners and other constituents. This was concluded when studying the development of toxicity in a Zebrafish due to exposure to AFFF.
How Does PFAS Cause Cancer?
You may have heard that PFAS causes cancer. The first question many people ask is, “How?” The answer lies in the endocrine system, which involves a complex set of organs and glands that control cell growth and reproduction.
The endocrine system is made up of several parts, including the following:
- Pituitary gland
- Thyroid gland
- Parathyroid glands
- Adrenal glands
- Testicles or ovaries
When PFAS disrupts this delicate balance between cells growing at normal rates versus reproducing too quickly, they can lead to cancers in multiple organs, including liver, kidney, and pancreatic cancer. While these are some common types of cancers associated with PFAS exposure among firefighters exposed during foam testing or training exercises, there could also be other forms based on your particular circumstances or medical history.
The situation can worsen if the exposed person has the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). According to data from the National Institutes of Health website, around 24% of US adults have NAFLD. And a recent report published on the Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN) website shows a link between NAFLD and the development of liver diseases, including cancer.
Are You Diagnosed With Cancer After Exposure to AFFF?
If you were diagnosed with cancer after exposure to AFFF, you must contact a lawyer immediately. A lawyer can help you determine if your illness is connected to the use of this product and then file a lawsuit against the manufacturer for compensation.
To find an attorney, check local directories or ask friends and family members who have experience with lawyers in your area. After finding one, follow their instructions carefully to ensure everything goes smoothly and on time.
A class action lawsuit is going on against many AFFF manufacturers. Suppose you are a military personnel or a firefighter with evidence to prove the connection between using AFFF and your liver cancer. In that case, you can file a Firefighter Foam Cancer Lawsuit. The lawyer can help you with the evidence pieces that you can gather.
Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit
In recent years, several lawsuits have been filed against firefighting foam manufacturers due to the potential health risks associated with the chemicals used in the foam. These chemicals, used to fight fires, have been linked to various forms of cancer, including testicular cancer, kidney cancer, and bladder cancer.
The lawsuits allege that the foam manufacturers were aware of the potential health risks associated with the chemicals yet failed to warn the public or take proper precautions to protect them. In these cases, the plaintiffs seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
As more information becomes available, more lawsuits will likely be filed against these companies. For instance, a Bloomberg news article shows that a group of 19 firefighters from Massachusetts and New York recently filed claims against 3M and many other businesses that manufactured and distributed such products that endangered plaintiffs’ health.
How to Find a Firefighting Foam Class Action Lawyer
Finding a lawyer to handle your case is trickier than simply looking at their website. You’ll want to ensure that the lawyers you are considering have experience working with class action cases and bringing lawsuits against large companies. They must be familiar with the different types of cancer caused by firefighting foam exposure and any other long-term health problems associated with it.
Finally, ensure that the attorney you hire can provide legal representation for your case from start to finish. This includes helping you file paperwork and gather evidence, defending you in court if necessary, and representing you during mediation or arbitration.
Finding a lawyer will not be that hard as the number of lawyers marketing and taking firefighting foam claims is increasing, alongside the number of plaintiffs. According to data from Drug Watch, the number of claims increased from 820 on December 31, 2020, to 950 on January 19, 2021.
As we learn more about the link between firefighter foam and cancer, we can take action to protect firefighters and their families from this health threat. By filing a lawsuit against chemical manufacturers who are responsible for releasing harmful chemicals into the environment, firefighting foam victims can seek compensation for their injuries.