Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) has been in use for decades to combat liquid fires caused by agents like jet fuel and gasoline. When sprayed as a mixture with water, the foam creates a blanket on top of the fire. This cuts off the oxygen supply to the flames, thereby extinguishing it.
The AFFF firefighting foams are used in military sites, airports, and chemical industrial establishments.
However, many firefighters and their families were kept in the dark about the probable fatal effects of prolonged exposure to AFFF foams. These foams contain proportions of carcinogenic PFAS components that pose a grave threat to the environment and human health.
Are you or your loved ones dealing with serious health issues and ever-increasing medical bills due to your exposure to the carcinogenic PFAS present in the firefighting foams?
This article will shed light on the importance of AFFF lawsuits, which can be of immense help if you are looking to sue the companies involved and seek optimum compensation. The post will also highlight the relationship between PFAS chemicals and the AFFF firefighting foam.
PFAS: A Brief History
Chemists at 3M and Dupont discovered PFAS(per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) during an experiment. The experiment yielded a coating of some sort that baffled the scientists as it repelled both oil and water and was indestructible.
The substance in question was Perfluorooctanoic acid, the first PFAS ever synthesized.
Following its original finding, Dupont went on to incorporate the chemical into the pioneering material, Teflon. Soon after, 3M synthesized its own PFAS chemical, Scotchgard, which is now known as PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid).
This branch of indestructible chemicals is used everywhere now–from your pizza boxes to industrial-grade fire extinguishers! As a matter of fact, you are probably so used to it in your everyday life that you might not be very attentive to its long-term dangers when viewed along with its short-term benefits.
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AFFF Firefighting Foam And Its Relationship With PFAS Chemicals
AFFF foams are synthetic extinguishers that are only used for class B fires. The PFAS chemicals act as surfactants, helping the firefighting foam to spread out evenly on the desired area. The PFAS compounds found in the foams have been connected to environmental pollution as well as serious health issues like cancer, heart disease, and birth problems.
Outdated fire stipulations at various American military facilities and airports have jeopardized the health of many firemen. Moreover, these old regulations have resulted in toxic contamination of the water supply in many areas, indirectly affecting the nearby population
According to the US Department of Defence, AFFF is a significant cause of PFAS environmental contamination. The PFAS in AFFF foams can seep into the groundwater and can also be dispersed in the air, contaminating anything that comes in their path.
Diseases Caused Due To The Exposure To PFAS
Prolonged exposure to the PFAS substances in the firefighting foam has resulted in many firefighters and their families suffering from a number of severe, occasionally fatal health consequences.
A growing body of research has connected PFAS to health issues, with some studies suggesting that even very low levels of exposure to the chemicals may be harmful to you. Some PFAS, with a half-life of up to eight years, can concentrate over time in your body, exposing you to some serious health hazards.
Numerous studies and reports have categorized PFAS chemicals as being carcinogenic. Personal injury law firm, TorHoerman Law, states the health concerns that can arise due to the ill effects of the chemicals
- Bladder cancer
- Mammary cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Fluctuating liver enzymes
- Pancreatic cancer
- Pregnant women’s pre-eclampsia risk
AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit
You can be eligible to file an AFFF firefighting lawsuit if you or anyone whom you know has been exposed to PFAS-containing firefighting foam and has developed health issues because of that. Moreover, the compensation demands do not depend on when you got exposed to the firefighting foam.
Over 4,000 plaintiffs have joined the AFFF Multi-District Litigation as of now, and there is no stopping them.
Pieces of evidence that commensurate with your ordeal play an important role in having a decent chance to win the lawsuit. It is imperative for your lawyer(s) to have an exhaustive understanding of the liabilities that come along with your case.
The following are a few more aspects that affect your AFFF settlement amount:
- The intensity of your exposure to the firefighting foam data on cancer diagnosis
- Data on your cancer diagnosis
- Medical expenses and treatment costs
- Additional restitution or punitive damages
The exceeding number of litigations have found giants like DuPont, 3M, Chemours, and Tyco Fire Products liable for the risks associated with PFAS-containing AFFF foams.
The aforementioned factors form the backbone of your AFFF lawsuit journey.
The AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuits empower unwitting victims of PFAS exposure to fight for justice and pursue rightful financial compensation.
More importantly, they remind the big businesses that they cannot make money while seriously jeopardizing the health of the people they serve.