Firefighting Foam Cancer and Injuries
Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), or firefighting foam, has been used by firefighters across the world for decades. It is notably used by firefighters in the military, airports, and local fire departments, but it has also been used to fight fires in large-scale industrial facilities to put out oil-based fires. AFFF firefighting foam is a foam fire retardant that efficiently smothers fires by cutting off oxygen from the fuel source.
Despite its effectiveness and wide-scale use in putting out fires, researchers discovered regular exposure to AFFF firefighting foams can be toxic and cause cancers including pancreatic, testicular, and kidney cancer. If you were regularly exposed to firefighting foam and developed cancer, you may be entitled to a cash settlement for your suffering. Contact the personal injury attorneys at McGartland Law Firm today for a free consultation.
Toxic Chemicals in AFFF
To help fight fires, manufacturers added man-made chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluroalkyl substances (PFAS) into AFFF. PFAS are manufactured to be resistant to oil, water, grease, and heat, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says they have been added to firefighting foams since about the 1940’s. Additionally, PFAS have been added to numerous consumer products over the years including cookware, stain repellants, furniture, and even clothing.
Because they do not break down in nature or in the human body, PFAS have been nicknamed “forever chemicals.” The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that PFAS can travel through soils, taint drinking water sources, and build up in fish and wildlife, impacting many types of animals in both water and on land. Further, the FDA discovered PFAS can accumulate in humans, as well, and never break down.
Because they do not break down over time, health officials say the buildup of PFAS in the human body is hazardous and can cause serious health effects, some of them potentially fatal.
PFAS in Firefighting Foam Health Effects
Because PFAS are included in a wide range of consumer products, most people have been exposed to PFAS in some manner. Specifically, PFAS found in firefighting foam have been linked to the following severe health conditions:
Effected immune system
Low infant birth weights
Thyroid hormone disruption
Increased cholesterol levels
PFOA and PFOS are types of PFAS commonly found found in AFFF. Both these PFAS have been found to build up in the body and not break down, increasing the risk of cancer and other health risks.
Firefighting Foam Cancer
Because of their regular exposure to firefighting foam, many firefighters across the U.S. claim their cancer diagnoses were caused by PFAS in firefighting foam. Firefighters allege they developed the following types of cancer from regular exposure to hazardous firefighting foam:
Call Us Today for Help
Were you regularly exposed to firefighting foam and diagnosed with cancer or another serious health condition? If so, please reach out to us today. Manufacturers of toxic AFFF have allegedly known for decades about the health risks of PFAS and failed to tell the public about the risks. Their negligence may entitle you to compensation to recover from your firefighting foam injuries.