A growing number of firefighters are airing concerns about Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFFs) and their potential link to numerous health issues.
AFFFs, which are used to fight oil- and fuel-based fires, have long been used in the firefighting industries to combat fires at airports and production plants. Additionally, most fire departments require yearly, up to week-long trainings on using AFFFs.
So, while the exposure to AFFFs is not frequent, the cadence is enough to cause concern amongst newfound research.
Recently, the CDC said AFFFs, and the PFAS contained in them, could be linked to cancer, organ damage, weakened immune system, and reproductive defects.
Two Atlanta-based retired firemen shared their experiences with FAAAs and the health problems that followed. Mark Johnson, who joined an Atlanta fire department in 1980, is recovering from prostate cancer.
Craig Chait recently had surgery to remove a stage 4 thyroid cancer tumor. Both retired public servants handled FAAAs often during their careers, and both believe that interaction is to blame for their declining health.
Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the companies that produce and sell AFFFs. No change has yet to come from the suits.