Firefighting foam has been used since the 1950s. Manufacturers use dangerous chemicals known as PFAS to make firefighting foam. However, PFAS may cause firefighters to develop kidney or testicular cancer. You may be able to seek compensation if PFAS caused your cancer.
Firefighting Foam & Cancer
Chemical-based firefighting foam has been sold for decades because it is effective in extinguishing jet fuel and petroleum fires. However, it may cause kidney and testicular cancer in firefighters who were regularly exposed to the foam. At particular risk are U.S. military firefighters, as the military widely used the foam for approximately 60 years. Firefighters assigned to airports are also at risk because airports required use of the foam until 2018.
If you or a loved one are a firefighter, were exposed to this foam, and later developed kidney or testicular cancer, you may be entitled to compensation.
What is Firefighting Foam?
Known officially as aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), firefighting foam creates a blanket that cuts off the fuel from the oxygen it needs to burn. To help smother the fire, chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were, and in some circumstances, are still used.
Major health organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the American Cancer Society (ACS) have noted that certain PFAS may be linked to cancer in firefighters. In fact, the EPA has classified PFAS as “emerging contaminants,” meaning they are likely dangerous to human health.
Cancers associated with PFAS include:
- Kidney Cancer: Kidneys can re-absorb PFAS into the body instead of passing it out with waste.
- Testicular Cancer: Long-term exposure to PFAS can lead to reduced sperm count and eventually cause tumors to form in the testicles.
The highly durable nature of PFAS means they do not break down over time. Because of this, they may remain in the body for years.
Those who served as airport or military firefighters are at particularly high risk of PFAS exposure. Until 2018, the Federal Airport Administration (FAA) required airports to use PFAS-containing foam following U.S. Navy guidelines.
The U.S. Navy and other branches of the military have used firefighting foam since the 1960s, even during training exercises and non-critical missions. It was particularly favored since it could put out jet fuel fires. The military is currently phasing out the use of certain PFAS.
Take Legal Action
Sokolove Law is currently investigating cases involving kidney and testicular cancer after occupational exposure to firefighting foam.
If you or a loved one are a firefighter, have been exposed to these foams, and later diagnosed with kidney or testicular cancer, you may wish to file a legal claim against companies that made firefighting foam. You may be able to receive financial compensation for your injuries.
To contact Sokolove Law fill out our contact form or call (800) 995-1212 today for a free legal case review. You will get in touch with one of our case managers. They can help determine if you have a valid claim.