Fire Fighting Foam Lawsuit: Dangers of AFFF

In the race to extinguish fires, firefighters have several tools available. Water is the most common, except for oil fires, which makes it worse. The development of firefighting foam gave firefighters an advantage on oil fires, allowing them to quickly extinguish any type of fire they were called to. However, there is an increase in […]
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Fire Fighting Foam Lawsuit: Dangers of AFFF

In the race to extinguish fires, firefighters have several tools available. Water is the most common, except for oil fires, which makes it worse. The development of firefighting foam gave firefighters an advantage on oil fires, allowing them to quickly extinguish any type of fire they were called to. However, there is an increase in fire fighting foam lawsuit claims due to the dangers of AFFF.

What is Aqueous Fire Fighting Foam Used For?

Fire Fighting Foam Lawsuit

Aqueous Fire Fighting Foam, or AFFF, is an option for fires in:

  • Chemical plants
  • Oil refineries, terminals, and bulk fuel storage farms
  • Merchant operations, such as offshore platforms and oil tankers
  • Other facilities for processing and storage of flammable liquids
  • Military installations and related facilities
  • Fire departments and their training centers
  • Aviation facilities, such as hangars, rescue operations, including aircraft firefighting

It’s quick and efficient and helps prevent fire from spreading. There are two types of foams:

  • Class A, used for wildfires
  • Class B is used for flammable liquids, either protein foam or synthetic foam.

In addition to widespread use by fire departments, The Department of Defense also adopted AFFF for fires due to flammable liquids and jet and aircraft fires. Unfortunately, these firefighting miracles also had a downside.

Fire Fighting Foam Lawsuit: Forever Chemicals

Until 2002, 3M produced a type of AFFF that contained one or both of these chemicals, known as PFAS, or Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances:

  • PFOS Perfluorooctyl Sulfonate, also known as C8
  • PFOA, or Perfluorooctanoic Acid

PFAS is toxic and also “bio-accumulative.” They are chemicals that do not biodegrade or break down in nature and do not leave the human body. They are also known as “persistent organic pollutants,” or POP. Long-term exposure to these chemicals leads to cancers, immune system problems, and reproductive issues. Once absorbed into the system, they are difficult to remove. Manufacturers no longer sell foam with PFOA or PFOS, and the “modern” form of AFFF that is currently available all breaks down completely.

Who is At Risk of AFFF Exposure?

Because of their consistent use, firefighters are at the most risk of having health problems due to PFAS in AFFF. But others can also become ill, including:

  • Military personnel
  • Mill workers
  • Airport workers
  • Factory workers who produced the chemicals
  • Residents who live in areas surrounding these facilities

Areas where this toxic AFFF has been used, can also experience contaminated groundwater, drinking water, air, and soil. Firefighters engaged in practice drills can deploy large amounts of AFFF, leading to environmental contamination.

Unfortunately, people who used these chemicals regularly were never told about the dangers, which has caused fire fighting foam lawsuit claims to increase. You may be eligible for compensation if you have been exposed to AFFF and are diagnosed with cancer or another illness. Reach out today to get started.

Health Problems Related to AFFF

The chemicals in AFFF are carcinogenic because they build up in human tissue. Exposure to AFFF can lead to:

  • Asthma
  • Cancers, such as:
    • Renal (kidney)
    • Testicular
    • Breast
    • Pancreatic
    • Prostate
    • Liver
    • Colon
    • Leukemia
    • Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
  • Fertility problems
  • Pregnancy-induced pre-eclampsia and hypertension
  • Fetal damage
  • Child development issues
  • Immune system damage
  • Increases in cholesterol
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Type 2 diabetes

The Department of Defense and the manufacturers of AFFF knew decades ago that AFFF was harmful to humans. Since the 1960s, several studies have demonstrated the existence of cancers to long-term exposure to AFFF. First responders, military personnel, mill and airport workers, and communities near these facilities have likely been exposed through drinking water or through the skin via air particles. This is why fire-fighting foam lawsuit claims have steadily increased over the years.

Fire Fighting Foam Lawsuit: Financial Compensation

Fire fighting foam lawsuit claims don't have to be complicated. You need a team with experience in AFF and the dangers you were exposed to. The companies that produced toxic firefighting foam knew of the serious health risks for decades before developing non-toxic foams. Becoming ill from exposure can be difficult and disrupt your life.

Cancer care is expensive and may not be completely covered by health insurance. At a time when you need it the most, there’s a possibility you’ll be out of work long-term, especially with cancer. This puts an even bigger strain on you and your family while dealing with your illness. You may not be back to work for a while—or at all. And the cost of long-term medical care related to cancer can be astounding.

If you’ve suffered any of these health problems related to AFFF, you have a right to seek compensation, called “economic damages,” such as:

  • Medical expenses
    • Current
    • Future
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost wages/loss of career

The compensation you recover will depend on the facts of your case. Every case is different, so discussing yours with an attorney familiar with AFFF cases is important. Additionally, the effects of cancer and other serious illnesses can be painful, debilitating, and depressing. You may also be able to receive non-economic damages such as:

  • Pain & suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

All of these have an effect on a patient’s quality of life.

Having an attorney is your best chance of recovering damages for your injuries from AFFF and ensuring that your lawsuit is filed timely and correctly within your state’s statute of limitations. For help navigating your fire fighting foam lawsuit, reach out to us today.

Are You Ill From AFFF?

If you or a loved one have developed cancer or other serious illness or were exposed to the toxic chemicals in AFFF firefighting foam, speak with one of our personal injury attorneys. You may be entitled to file a product liability lawsuit to seek compensation for the damages suffered due to AFFF exposure. Contact us for help with your fire fighting foam lawsuit.

We’re ready to help. Learn about filing a claim to get started on your compensation. The consultation is free, and we’ll be happy to discuss your case with you and let you know your options.

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