What are AFFF Exposure Symptoms?

What are AFFF Exposure Symptoms? In recent years, concerns have risen about the health impacts of exposure to aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), a firefighting foam widely used by military and civilian firefighting services. AFFF contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which have been linked to several health problems due to their persistence in the environment […]
< Back to News Home

What are AFFF Exposure Symptoms?

What are AFFF Exposure Symptoms?

In recent years, concerns have risen about the health impacts of exposure to aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), a firefighting foam widely used by military and civilian firefighting services. AFFF contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which have been linked to several health problems due to their persistence in the environment and the human body. If you suspect you've been exposed to AFFF, it's crucial to recognize the symptoms and understand your rights and options.

What is AFFF?

Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) is a firefighting foam specifically designed to suppress fires involving flammable liquids, such as petrol, oil, and aviation fuels. It is most effective in situations where a rapid and efficient response is required to prevent the spread of fire and minimize damage.

How Does AFFF Work?

AFFF operates by creating a barrier between the fuel and the air. It combines water, foam concentrate, and air to produce a foam that spreads over the surface of flammable liquids. This foam forms a thin, water-based film that smothers the fire by cutting off its oxygen supply, effectively extinguishing the fire and preventing re-ignition.

Applications of AFFF

AFFF is primarily used in scenarios with a high risk of flammable liquid fires, including:

  • Aviation: For extinguishing fires caused by aircraft accidents.
  • Military: In naval and military operations where fuel fires are a significant risk.
  • Industrial: In facilities that handle large volumes of flammable liquids.
  • Emergency Services: By firefighters to tackle large-scale industrial fires or accidents involving flammable liquids.
    health Risks Associated with Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF)

Health Risks Associated with AFFF Exposure

The health risks associated with Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF), primarily due to its content of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are a growing concern. PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that have been widely used in various industries for their resistance to water, oil, and temperature. However, the persistence of these chemicals in the environment and the human body has led to potential long-term health risks. Below, we delve deeper into the specific health risks associated with AFFF exposure.


Research has shown a possible link between PFAS exposure and an increased risk of certain types of cancer. The most concerning associations have been observed with kidney cancer and testicular cancer. Studies suggest that PFAS can interfere with normal cell growth and division, potentially leading to the development of cancerous cells.

Immune System Effects

PFAS exposure has been linked to several adverse effects on the immune system. These include a reduced ability to produce antibodies in response to vaccines, making individuals more susceptible to infections. Additionally, PFAS can alter immune system regulation, potentially leading to autoimmune diseases.

Thyroid Disease

Thyroid disease is another significant concern associated with PFAS exposure. PFAS can disrupt the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, leading to conditions such as hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism, and its disruption can have widespread effects on the body.

Developmental Effects

Exposure to PFAS during pregnancy can lead to developmental issues in infants and children. This includes low birth weight, delayed growth, and developmental milestones, as well as behavioral changes. PFAS can cross the placental barrier, affecting the developing fetus directly.

Reproductive Issues

PFAS exposure has been associated with various reproductive issues, including reduced fertility in both men and women. Women may experience changes in menstrual cycles, and there is an increased risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia. For men, there may be a decrease in sperm quality and count.

Liver Damage

Liver damage is a potential health risk of PFAS exposure. PFAS can accumulate in the liver, leading to changes in liver enzymes and indicators of liver damage. This accumulation can interfere with the liver's ability to function properly, affecting metabolism and the detoxification of other substances.

Cholesterol Levels

An increase in cholesterol levels has been observed in individuals exposed to PFAS. High levels of cholesterol are a risk factor for heart disease. PFAS exposure can lead to increases in both total cholesterol and LDL ("bad") cholesterol, contributing to the development of cardiovascular disease.

PFAS Exposure Symptoms

The health risks associated with PFAS, a key component of AFFF, can manifest in various ways, depending on the level and duration of exposure. Here are some of the symptoms and conditions linked to PFAS exposure:

Immune System Impact

  • Decreased vaccine response
  • Increased susceptibility to infections
  • Developmental Effects
  • Lower birth weight and size
  • Potential developmental delays in children

Hormonal Effects

  • Interference with hormone levels and activity, possibly affecting thyroid function
  • Reproductive Health Concerns
  • Reduced fertility
  • Increased risk of high blood pressure in pregnant women

Liver Damage

  • Elevated liver enzymes, indicating stress or damage to liver cells

Increased Cholesterol

  • Higher levels of total cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol)

Cancer Risk

Other Symptoms

  • Signs of thyroid disease, such as weight changes, fatigue, and changes in heart rate
  • Changes in lipid metabolism, possibly leading to obesity and diabetes

Monitoring and Prevention

If you suspect you've been exposed to AFFF or PFAS, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider. They can recommend specific tests to monitor for health effects related to PFAS exposure. Preventive measures include avoiding known sources of PFAS and using water filtration systems that can reduce PFAS levels in drinking water.

Understanding the broad range of symptoms associated with PFAS exposure from AFFF and other sources is vital for early detection and intervention, which can help mitigate the health impacts of these substances.

People At High Risk of AFFF Exposure

What are AFFF Exposure Symptoms?

People at high risk of AFFF (Aqueous Film-Forming Foam) exposure are primarily those who have had direct contact with the foam or have been in environments where AFFF has been used extensively. AFFF contains PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances), which are chemicals linked to various health issues, including cancer, immune system effects, and hormonal disruptions. The following groups are considered at higher risk of AFFF exposure:


  • Civilian and Military Firefighters: They are at the forefront of AFFF exposure due to their direct involvement in fire suppression activities, especially in situations involving flammable liquids. The use of AFFF in training exercises also contributes to their exposure.
  • Airport Firefighters: Given the use of AFFF in aviation for its effectiveness in quickly extinguishing jet fuel fires, airport firefighters are particularly at risk.

Military Personnel

  • Naval Personnel: The use of AFFF on naval ships and in military bases for firefighting training and emergency response puts naval personnel at a heightened risk.
  • Personnel at Military Bases: Many military bases have historically used AFFF in firefighting training and emergency responses, leading to potential soil and groundwater contamination and exposure among stationed personnel.

Industrial Workers

Workers in Facilities Using Flammable Liquids: Industries that handle large volumes of flammable liquids (e.g., petrochemical, oil refining, and storage facilities) may use AFFF for fire protection and suppression, posing a risk to workers.

Residents Near Contaminated Sites

  • Communities Near Military Bases and Airports: People living near military bases (Fort Bragg, for example), airports, or industrial sites where AFFF has been used extensively may be exposed to PFAS through contaminated groundwater or soil.
  • Individuals Consuming Contaminated Water: Residents in areas where PFAS have leached into the water supply from the use of AFFF are at risk of exposure through drinking water.

Environmental Cleanup Workers

  • Remediation and Cleanup Crews: Individuals involved in the cleanup of sites contaminated with AFFF may be exposed to PFAS, especially if proper protective measures are not taken.

Steps for High-Risk Individuals

If you belong to one of these high-risk groups, taking certain precautions can help minimize your exposure to PFAS:

  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) during potential exposure situations.
  • Follow safety protocols and guidelines for handling and applying AFFF.
  • Advocate for the use of PFAS-free firefighting foams as alternatives to AFFF.
  • Monitor your health closely and consult with healthcare providers about potential PFAS exposure, especially if experiencing health issues associated with PFAS.
  • Participate in health monitoring programs if available, which may include blood testing for PFAS levels.

Understanding and acknowledging the risks of AFFF exposure is crucial for individuals in high-risk groups. Taking proactive steps to minimize exposure and advocating for safer alternatives can help protect health and well-being.

Legal Assistance For the Victims of AFFF Exposure

Victims of AFFF (Aqueous Film-Forming Foam) exposure, often containing harmful PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances), may face significant health risks and financial burdens. Legal assistance can play a crucial role in seeking compensation and justice for those affected. Here's an overview of how legal assistance can help victims of AFFF exposure and what steps can be taken:

Understanding Your Rights

Victims of AFFF exposure may have the right to seek compensation for various damages, including:

  • Medical expenses related to PFAS-related illnesses
  • Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages in cases of egregious negligence

How Legal Assistance Can Help

  • Case Evaluation: Legal professionals can evaluate your case to determine if your health issues can be linked to AFFF exposure, assessing the viability of your claim.
  • Navigating Complex Litigations: AFFF exposure cases often involve complex scientific evidence and legal arguments. Experienced attorneys can navigate these complexities and advocate on your behalf.
  • Class Action Lawsuits: Many AFFF exposure cases are handled as class action lawsuits or part of multidistrict litigation (MDL). Legal assistance can help you understand these processes and how they apply to your situation.
  • Settlement Negotiations: Attorneys can negotiate with defendants (manufacturers, employers, etc.) to seek a fair settlement, compensating for your exposure and its consequences.
  • Trial Representation: If a settlement isn't reached, a skilled attorney can represent your interests in court, presenting evidence and arguing your case before a judge or jury.

Steps for Seeking Legal Assistance

  • Research Attorneys: Look for law firms specializing in environmental law, toxic torts, or specifically PFAS-related litigation. Experience in AFFF exposure cases is crucial.
  • Initial Consultation: Many attorneys offer free consultations to discuss your case. Prepare any medical records, employment history, and exposure details for this meeting.
  • Case Investigation: Your attorney will likely conduct a detailed investigation to gather evidence supporting your claim, including medical records, expert testimonies, and exposure assessments.
  • Legal Filing: Your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf, outlining your claims against the parties responsible for your AFFF exposure.
  • Ongoing Communication: Stay in regular contact with your attorney to provide any additional information and stay informed about your case's progress.

Contact Class Action 101 Today

Legal assistance can be invaluable for victims of AFFF exposure, providing the expertise and resources needed to navigate the legal system and advocate for compensation. If you or someone you know has been exposed to AFFF, seeking legal counsel as soon as possible is crucial to protect your rights and explore your options for seeking justice. Contact us today.

< Back to News Home
Share This

Do You Have A Claim?

If you've been hurt by negligent company, product, or service, report it here.
Our expert partner attorneys offer free consultations for your claim.

More Recent Posts

April 12, 2024
A recent study has brought to light a concerning issue affecting nearly half of the United States' prisons: water sources likely contaminated with toxic PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Known for their persistence in the environment and severe health risks, PFAS contamination poses a significant threat to approximately 1 million incarcerated individuals, including 13,000 […]
[ Read More ... ]
April 12, 2024
In a landmark move, the Biden administration has finalized stringent restrictions on perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), often referred to as “forever chemicals,” in drinking water. This significant regulatory step aims to address widespread contamination and ensure safer drinking water for millions of Americans. Understanding the New PFAS Regulation The newly established rule marks the […]
[ Read More ... ]
March 25, 2024
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken a groundbreaking step by announcing a comprehensive ban on the ongoing uses of asbestos, specifically targeting chrysotile asbestos. This form of asbestos, which is the most prevalent globally, is currently the only kind being imported or used in the United States. It is commonly found in […]
[ Read More ... ]
February 24, 2024
In a recent critique by the United Nations, highlighted by The Hill, the persistent issue of "forever chemicals" contamination in North Carolina has once again stirred public concern. These chemicals, scientifically known as Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are notorious for their durability in the environment and potential health risks. PFAS in North Carolina North […]
[ Read More ... ]
February 10, 2024
For veterans and military personnel who have been exposed to aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), understanding the process of filing a claim with the Veterans Affairs (VA) can be crucial for receiving due benefits and healthcare. AFFF, used extensively in fire suppression and training exercises across military installations, has been linked to various health concerns due […]
[ Read More ... ]
January 23, 2024
Top 3 Reasons Why PFAS Are Bad for the Environment and Public Health Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), often referred to as "forever chemicals," have been a topic of growing concern for environmental scientists, public health experts, and regulatory agencies. These synthetic chemicals, known for their persistence in the environment and resistance to degradation, have […]
[ Read More ... ]
1 2 3 8
Copyright © 2024 Classaction.101.com
Privacy - Terms Conditions