Fire fighting foam, known as AFFF (aqueous film forming foam) has been in use since the 1950s. It acts as an effective fire suppressant for flammable liquid fires, like oil fires, gasoline fires, and jet fuel fires. Since its invention, it has been widely used by firefighting crews, both military and civilian. It was also commonly used by firefighters at airports up until 2018.
The product works by cutting off oxygen to the fuel-burning fire which eventually smothers the fire. It does this process through the use of chemicals. Unfortunately, the chemicals used by manufacturers of fire fighting foam products have been what are known as PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances). These toxic chemicals have since proven to be associated with various forms of cancer. Because of this, personal injury lawsuits against the manufacturers of such products have been on the rise in recent years for those who have been exposed and later been diagnosed with some form of this deadly disease.
Have you been exposed to fire fighting foam as a firefighter, private citizen, or airport worker in Alabama? Have you later been diagnosed with some type of cancer? Call Elizabeth A. Citrin, P.C. at (251) 202-3374 to arrange for a consultation as soon as possible.
The Potential Health Effects of Exposure to Fire Fighting Foam
Aside from personal exposure to the harmful effects of the toxic chemicals used in these products, AFFF can also seep its way into the environment. When discharged, it can contaminate surrounding soil and underground water, enter drainage systems, and be further released into the environment. This commonly occurs around airports, military bases, refineries, fuel tank facilities, and other places where petroleum may be stored and used. Because of the potential cancer risk now known associated with PFAS for military personnel and communities around military installations, they will be phased out of military use starting in 2024. However, many people have already been exposed, some for decades.
The evidence against the health dangers of AFFFs has been growing for years and has become well-documented. For fire fighters, its dangers and a health crisis related to its use has been made known by such organizations as the Tidewater Federal Fire Fighters in a Senate hearing as well as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). A report by Clean Water Action.org has stated that firefighters have a particular health risk because of their exposure to the toxic chemicals both when training and actually fighting fires. Other reports by experts have shown that firefighters have significantly higher levels of these chemicals in their blood. The nature of PFAS is that they are extremely durable, do not break down in the body over the long haul, and thus can remain in your system for years.
Exposure to AFFFs may cause the development of the following types of cancer:
- Kidney cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Other cancers
If you or a loved one have been exposed to AFFFs, whether as a military, civilian, or airport firefighter and have since been diagnosed with any of the above types of cancer, you may have grounds to file an injury claim against the product manufacturers. You may be able to obtain rightful compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of income, and other applicable damages.
At Elizabeth A. Citrin, P.C. We Fight for the Compensation You Need & Deserve
Our Daphne fire fighting foam injury lawyer is here to fight for your rightful compensation in AFFF defective product cases. We understand the tactics used by large corporations and their legal teams when trying to deny or reduce your claim and can counteract them with our own effective legal strategies. Throughout her career as a personal injury lawyer, Attorney Elizabeth Citrin has zealously fought for justice for all those harmed through negligence and wrongdoing both in Daphne and throughout the state of Alabama.
Reach out to us at (251) 202-3374 to schedule a case evaluation today.
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