Firefighting Foam Claims
For years members of the military and firefighting professionals have used Acqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) in fighting jet fuel and petroleum fires. Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (also known as PFAS) are chemical compounds that were (and sometimes still are) found in fire fighting foam. The CDC, the EPA and the American Cancer Society have all identified PFAS as likely to cause cancer. These compounds can build up over time in the body and can cause serious health problems to people who are frequently exposed to PFAS.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Military bases, airport fire fighters and many civilian firefighters have used AFFF Fire Fighting Foam for fuel-based fires. The foam is effective at smothering fires because it cuts off the oxygen supply to the blaze. Military bases have used AFFF foam since 1970, and many continue to use AFFF. Airports used the foam up until 2018. Exposure is not limited to just the firefighters using the firefighting foam, but also to people who live around the areas where the PFAS could contaminate drinking water and groundwater. This is especially true around military bases that utilize AFFF foam.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH AFFF?
AFFF made with PFAS chemicals poses risks to people exposed to the toxic chemicals including:
- Testicular Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Bladder Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Thyroid Disease
- Compromised immunity
- Fertility problems
The CDC, The EPA, the American Cancer Society, Emory University and even some internal studies at 3M and DuPont (who is a manufacturer of AFFF) show adverse health effects ranging from birth defects to cancer to liver damage. There are also grave environmental concerns because the chemicals used in PFAS are called “forever chemicals”. Forever Chemicals use an 8-carbon atom chain that do not easily break down in nature--thus increasing the risks of soil and water contamination for the general population. Companies that make these fire foam products have been aware of these studies yet did not timely warn users, including the US Military, of the potential dangers.
WHO CAN HELP ME WITH A POTENTIAL LAWSUIT?
Firefighters that were exposed to the harmful chemicals in AFFF may be entitled to damages. If exposure and injury occurred as the result of the negligence of the companies that manufacture PFAS, these firefighters have the right to bring a claim or lawsuit. A Kentucky personal injury attorney can help guide you through the complexities of a Toxic Injury Lawsuit. Please contact Brett H. Oppenheimer, PLLC to discuss your toxic exposure case today.