Firefighting Foam Lawsuit
Firefighters have a lot of tools in their arsenal to put out fires. We generally associate firefighters with using big hoses that pump out tons of water, but a more effective method has been used for a few decades now in commercial settings: foam. Firefighting foam works by smothering flames and suffocating them by cutting off their oxygen supply.
While this tool has been used for over half a decade, it’s recently come to light that certain firefighting foam isn’t safe. Firefighting foam has been linked to a variety of cancers. Those who are at the greatest risk are firefighters who actually use the foam, especially military firefighters. However, the foam is known to affect the environment as well, putting others exposed at risk.
TonaLaw is currently accepting clients who may have developed cancer due to firefighting foam. We are highly experienced in representing victims who are seeking compensation against the manufacturers of the foam. We are here to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What Is Firefighting Foam?
Firefighting foam, technically known as aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), was developed in the early 1960s. As a film, it extinguishes hydrocarbon fuel fires by cutting off the oxygen supply. In addition, it doesn’t evaporate, so it stops the fire from re-igniting. After it was developed, it became commonly used at airports, refineries, aircraft carriers, and other places where fuel fires can occur. It is one of the most effective methods of suppressing fuel fires quickly.
However, firefighting foam can be highly dangerous. It contains perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), collectively called perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Essentially, these chemicals stay in the environment and in bodies practically forever, since they are incredibly strong and don’t break down easily.
In 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allowed airports to switch from foams that have these dangerous chemicals to safer alternatives. Though this switch is a good step for future safety, the unfortunate truth is that thousands, if not millions, have been negatively affected by firefighting foam already.
Who Has Been Affected by Firefighting Foam?
The most obvious victims of firefighting foam are those who use it as a part of their occupation. Firefighters at airports, naval bases and other areas where AFFF is commonly used may have had unhealthy levels of contact with PFOA and PFOS. As such, they may be at a much higher risk of developing firefighting foam cancers and other related illnesses.
However, firefighters aren’t the only ones at risk. AFFF has also been found in drinking water supplies throughout the United States. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 110 million Americans could have PFAS in their drinking water. Firefighting foam isn’t the only culprit in this environmental disaster, however.
These chemicals were also used in pesticides, carpets, and even gum wrappers. It was also used to make Teflon. While PFOS and PFOA aren’t used in these products anymore, they still remain in the environment — and they aren’t regulated. In fact, PFOS has been found in drinking water at over 54 times the safe limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Common Illnesses Caused by Firefighting Foam
Because PFAS do not break down easily, they can stay in a person’s body indefinitely. While they’re in the body, they can cause a variety of cancers. In addition, they can interfere with natural hormones, increase cholesterol levels and affect the immune system.
Some of the most common cancers associated with PFAS include:
- Pancreatic cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Neuroendocrine tumors
Of course, because PFAS interfere with hormones, cholesterol and the immune system, there are countless other illnesses that can be linked to firefighting foam. Children of commercial firefighters may suffer from impaired growth due to exposure, and you may also have fertility complications as a result of firefighting foam.
What Legal Action Can I Take?
PFAS in the environment can be blamed on any number of companies and factors, making it hard to place blame on a single source. But if you are or were a commercial firefighter who used AFFF as a part of your job, and you later developed cancer or another illness as a result of using foam with PFAS in it, you may be entitled to compensation.
At TonaLaw, we are currently representing clients who have developed cancer due to using firefighting foam. We can hold the manufacturer of the foam accountable so you can get the full compensation you deserve. Our attorneys can represent you in a sole personal injury case, or we may be able to file a class-action suit that includes you.
We’re always here to take your call, and we will review your case at no cost to you. Give us a call at 1-833-TONALAW or contact us online today to speak with an experienced firefighting foam cancer lawyer about all of your legal options.