Firefighters risk their lives every day to fight for the safety of others. Unfortunately, some of the tools they use to put out fires are the same tools that are causing them harm. Chemical-based firefighting foam has been sold for decades because of its effectiveness in extinguishing jet fuel and petroleum fires. However, this foam has also been linked to causing various types of cancer – most notably kidney, testicular, and pancreatic cancer – in firefighters who were regularly exposed to it.
If you or a loved one is a firefighter, was exposed to this foam, and later developed cancer, you may be entitled to compensation through a firefighter foam lawsuit. Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. is currently evaluating claims for injuries resulting from exposure to firefighting foam. For more information or to contact one of our New York firefighting foam lawsuit attorneys, please call Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. at 1-646-798-1535.
Firefighting foam, officially known as asqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), is a foam used for fire suppression. It cools the fire and coats the fuel to prevent its contact with oxygen, which results in suppression of the combustion. The firefighting foam contains chemicals known as Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroaklkyl substances (PFAS). These foams are still used today to some extent.
Certain PFAS can accumulate and stay in the human body for long periods of time. Long-term exposure to PFAS/PFOA/PFOS, in high concentrations, causes a buildup in the body. This buildup can negatively impact your health and result in serious medical conditions, such as thyroid disease and various types of cancers.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified some of these chemicals used in firefighting foam as “emerging contaminants” that are likely dangerous to human health. According to some published reports, companies and manufacturers have known of the extreme to fire fighters risk for decades and failed to take sufficient action to protect them or make them aware of the potential harm in exposure to these chemicals.
Although most firefighters are at risk for exposure to the dangerous firefighting foam, some are at an even higher risk. Airport and military firefighters are at a particularly high risk of PFAS exposure. Until 2018, the Federal Airport Administration (FAA) required airports to use PFA-containing foam following U.S. Navy guidelines.
Firefighting foam has been used in other branches of the military, as well the U.S. Navy, since the 1960s. The dangerous foam has been used even during training exercises and non-critical missions. It was particularly favored since it could be used to put out jet fuel fires. The military is currently phasing out the use of certain PFAS.
In 2000, 3M, the only United States manufacturer, started phasing out the use of PFOS and PFAS due to the tendency of chemical buildup in the human body. DuPont was using the compound under the name C8 and marketing it as Teflon. When 3M stopped production, DuPont built a factory to start producing the chemical.
3M, instead, developed a fluorine-free foam that tested equally as well as the AFFF for putting out jet fuel fires set by the International Civil Aviation Organization. However, after a first failed test (by only 9 seconds), the Navy refused to pursue modifications to meet their standards and never adopted the PFAS-free foams. DuPont has heavily lobbied against the new foam product as well with the Department of Defense.
Firefighting foam (AFFF) containing harmful chemicals, such as Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), has been linked to serious health conditions including but not limited to:
Regardless of what type of injury or cancer you or a loved one has suffered as a result of exposure to firefighting foam, you need to take immediate action to protect your legal rights.
Today, the companies that produced firefighting foams with PFAS are coming under medical scrutiny. New information reported that the foam has been linked to cancer and that companies have known this for decades, but have yet continued to sell the toxic foam despite its resulting health risks.
Firefighters who have suffered injuries as a result of exposure to the foam deserve justice. Victims are filing legal claims against these companies, seeking compensation for the long-term damage that was done.
Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. is currently investigating legal claims involving cancer after occupational exposure to firefighting foam.
If you or someone you care about has been exposed to the dangerous chemicals found in firefighting foam and was later diagnosed with kidney, testicular, pancreatic, or another type of cancer, you may be entitled to compensation. To protect your legal rights and get the full money damages you are entitled to, you need to immediately consult with an experienced New York firefighting foam lawsuit attorney.
To learn more, contact the legal team at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. today at 1-646-798-1535. Our case managers will listen to your facts and help you understand your options.