It is no secret that firefighters perform an essential function. In doing so, they use certain products to put out fires. Unfortunately, however, some of these products contain toxic chemicals, which can lead to severe safety and health concerns. One particular firefighting foam, Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), has been linked to various forms of cancer. When AFFF makes its way into sources of water, it also has the potential to harm those who consume it. If you or a loved one has developed cancer or any other medical conditions after exposure to AFFF firefighter foam, you may have a right to seek compensation. Contact the AFFF lawsuit attorneys at Gerling Law today for a free case evaluation, and see how our team can help you recover.
What Is AFFF?
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), AFFF is a highly efficient type of fire suppression foam. AFFF is designed to suffocate flammable liquid fires by producing an aqueous film that spreads over the fire to suppress the flame. Invented in the early 1900s, AFFF has been used by firefighters for decades to more effectively combat fires. However, AFFF is also commonly used in a variety of other settings, such as:
- Chemical plants,
- Oil refineries,
- Aviation operations,
- Highway emergency response,
- Military facilities,
- Naval vessels, and
- Flammable liquid storage and processing facilities.
There is no question that AFFF fire fighting foams are a great invention. This important technology has helped save countless lives. Nevertheless, the fact remains that there are serious concerns with respect to the toxic chemicals used in AFFF.
Dangers of AFFF
While AFFF foam can be useful in some circumstances, it contains a number of chemicals that are toxic to both humans and the environment. Specifically, AFFF contains perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). Both of these acids are per- and polyfluoroalykl substances (PFAS), which are a group of man-made chemicals. PFASs are often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they are extremely difficult to break down in the environment and in our bodies. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has acknowledged that there is strong evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans. In response, the EPA has taken regulatory actions to address the issue of PFAS in certain manufacturing and consumer products.
Who Is Susceptible to AFFF Firefighter Foam Exposure?
PFASs, PFOAs, and PFOSs found in AFFF firefighter foam can be ingested orally, inhaled through exposure in the atmosphere, or even absorbed through the skin. Thus, firefighters in departments who use fire fighting AFFFs are very susceptible to AFFF exposure. However, firefighters are not the only ones who are at risk of exposure. When firefighters use AFFF foam in combating fires, there is always a possibility that it may come in contact with others in the vicinity. Additionally, in some scenarios, AFFF could even contaminate food, water, and soil, leading to potentially serious health hazards for the general population.
What to Do After Exposure to AFFF
Exposure to the toxic chemicals found in AFFF firefighter foam can lead to serious health concerns if not addressed immediately. Thus, if you believe you may have ingested or been exposed to AFFF, make sure to take the following precautions:
- Take action to contain and manage AFFF and water runoff;
- Properly and quickly remove any clothing or personal protective equipment (PPE);
- Use cleaning wipes on your hands, face, and neck immediately after exposure;
- Shower and fully clean your body as soon as possible after your exposure to AFFF; and
- Thoroughly clean any contaminated PPE or clothing before your next use.
If you begin to experience any negative reactions after your exposure, make sure to also seek medical attention as soon as possible. Then, contact an AFFF lawsuit lawyer to see whether you may have a claim for recovery.
Common Side Effects of Long-Term AFFF Exposure
Long-term exposure to AFFF can lead to a number of severe side effects and health concerns. Examples of medical conditions that have been linked to AFFF exposure include:
- Low infant birth weights,
- Child development issues,
- Fertility problems,
- Effects on the immune system,
- Thyroid disease,
- Liver disease,
- Testicular cancer,
- Bladder cancer,
- Liver cancer,
- Leukemia, and
- Kidney cancer.
These types of medical conditions can drastically impact your life. Between extraordinary medical expenses, time spent away from work recovering, and emotional trauma, there is no doubt that long-term AFFF exposure has the potential to change your life forever. A cancer diagnosis, especially, can turn your world upside down. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and believe it might be the result of exposure to AFFF, a firefighter foam cancer lawsuit might provide you an avenue for recovery.
Over $500 Million in Recoveries
I called my insurance company to start my claim – then I immediately called Gerling. They know the laws; they know the ins and outs. If you want something done – and done right – call Gerling. They know what they are doing.
How an AFFF Lawsuit Lawyer Can Help
Dealing with the aftermath of toxic AFFF firefighter foam exposure can be complicated and overwhelming. However, having an experienced AFFF lawsuit attorney in your corner can make things feel more manageable.
An AFFF lawsuit lawyer can help you gather important facts and evidence to build your case. He or she can also negotiate with opposing parties on your behalf in an effort to reach a settlement and prepare for trial when necessary.
Additionally, an attorney can help connect you with other victims with similar circumstances. By doing so, you may have the opportunity to join a class action lawsuit. This can be a great opportunity that may allow you to pursue a lawsuit with other similarly situated plaintiffs for a fraction of the cost of an individual lawsuit.
Gerling Law Works On A Contingency Basis
Gerling Law’s experienced AFFF (Firefighter Foam) Lawsuit Attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means there are no upfront costs. We only get paid if you receive money.
We Handle Mass Torts All Over The Country
We consider ourselves a national law firm that represents plaintiffs in mass tort cases in federal and state courts across the country. We have attorneys admitted to the full time practice of law in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, and we can be admitted to practice on individual matters in other courts and, if necessary, we can engage local counsel at our own expense to comply with state ethical rules. In short, our mass tort clients live all over the country. No matter where you reside, we can help you with your case.
We Do The Work For You
We minimize paperwork, stress, and wait time as much as possible.
Over 50 Years Experience
Our AFFF (Firefighter Foam) Lawsuit attorneys have helped thousands of injured victims and their loved ones.
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