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July 10, 2020

Firefighter Claims Film-Forming Foam Caused His Prostate Cancer: Lawsuit

A Texas firefighter claims exposure to aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) during training and firefighting caused his prostate cancer diagnosis. This lawsuit joins hundreds of similar claims from across the U.S., each alleging toxic chemicals in AFFF caused individuals to develop severe side effects, like cancer.

The claim was filed last week by Patrick Kelly McDaniel, a firefighter from Rosharon, TX. McDaniel used AFFF during his career as a military and civilian firefighter for both training and firefighting.

In the lawsuit, McDaniel alleges hazardous chemicals in AFFF foam built up in his system over time, causing his prostate cancer diagnosis. Recent research has uncovered that chemicals added into firefighting foam can be dangerous to human health.

Since the 1940’s AFFF has contained per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are man-made chemicals designed to resist heat and water, ideal for AFFF. However, studies show that PFAS can accumulate in the human body and never break down. This steady buildup of PFAS in the body can increase individuals’ risk of adverse side effects.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) linked PFAS to causing cancer in individuals, stating the increasing buildup of PFAS in the body can cause people to develop tumors. PFAS has since been linked to a number of cancer diagnosis including prostate, ovarian, pancreatic, and testicular cancer.

McDaniel’s lawsuit was filed in the South Carolina federal court, where all federal firefighting foam lawsuits have been centralized. McDaniel names over a dozen AFFF manufacturers as defendants, including 3M, Buckeye Fire Equipment Company, and Chemguard, Inc.

“Defendants collectively designed, marketed, developed, manufactured, distributed, released, trained users, produced instructional materials, promoted, sold, and/or otherwise released into the stream of commerce AFFF with knowledge that it contained highly toxic and bio persistent PFASs, which would expose end users of the product to the risks associated with PFAS,” McDaniel states in his claim.

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