AFFF (Aqueous Film-Forming Foam) has been a staple in firefighting since the 1960s, particularly within military and airport settings. Its effectiveness in extinguishing jet fuel and petroleum fires made it a preferred choice. However, recent revelations about the health risks associated with AFFF have led to a surge in lawsuits.
The Dangerous Ingredients
The primary concern with AFFF is the presence of PFAS (Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances). These chemicals, often termed “forever chemicals” due to their persistent nature, don’t break down easily. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has even classified PFAS chemicals as “emerging contaminants,” indicating potential dangers to human health.
Exposure to PFAS has been linked to various types of cancers, including bladder, breast, colorectal, leukemia, liver, lymphoma, pancreatic, prostate, renal, testicular, thyroid, and uterine cancers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the EPA, and the American Cancer Society (ACS) have all acknowledged the potential risks associated with PFAS exposure.
Who’s at Risk?
While any firefighter exposed to AFFF could be at risk, airport and military firefighters might face a higher danger due to their frequent exposure. Until 2018, the Federal Airport Administration (FAA) mandated the use of PFAS-containing foam, and the U.S. military has been using it since the 1960s.
The Rise in Lawsuits
Given the health risks, many affected individuals are seeking legal recourse. If someone has been diagnosed with cancer potentially linked to PFAS exposure, they might be eligible for compensation through an AFFF lawsuit. The lawsuits primarily target manufacturers of AFFF for not adequately warning about the health risks.
Legal Challenges and Support
Filing an AFFF lawsuit can be complex. It requires gathering evidence, understanding the statutes of limitations, and potentially facing off against powerful corporations. However, law firms like Sokolove Law offer support to affected individuals, guiding them through the legal process and fighting for their rights.
The afff lawsuit trend underscores the broader issue of how products, once deemed safe, can have long-term health implications. As more information comes to light about the dangers of AFFF, it’s likely that the legal battles will continue, pushing for accountability and justice for those affected.