Who Can File an AFFF Lawsuit?
Exposure to Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) has been linked to serious medical problems. People who have been exposed to it– and later suffered from specific health issues can file an AFFF lawsuit.
How PFAS Can Harm You
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, individuals exposed to PFAS may be at heightened risk for the following:
- A decrease in vaccine response for children
- Changes in liver enzymes
- An increased risk of high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia in women who are pregnant
- Reductions in infant birth weights
- A higher risk of cancer
Again, if you have been exposed to AFFF and developed any of these or other health problems, you may be eligible.
Why is AFFF So Dangerous?
AFFF contains polyfluoroalkyl materials (PFAS) that are highly effective at extinguishing fires, which is why it was so commonly used. However, PFAS are not biodegradable and can accumulate in the body. Two of the PFAS compounds found within AFFF are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), both PFOA and PFOS are categorized as “emerging contaminants.”
Once these emerging contaminants are ingested, from either direct exposure or through food and water– they will remain in your system and continue to bioaccumulate as exposure increases. In addition to oral ingestion, individuals who worked at facilities that used it to fight fires– inhalation and absorption through the skin are other pathways in which PFAS can enter your body.
Who Has Been Exposed to AFFF?
Individuals with long-term occupational exposure to firefighting foam could be at risk of developing the health problems mentioned above– due to their exposure to PFAS. This includes firefighters, airport workers, workers in the chemical industry, and members of the military. Please note that because the PFAS found in firefighting foam do not break down in the environment, you could still have been affected without ever having direct contact.
Indirect exposure has been found in contaminated groundwater and soil. For example, if you lived near military bases, airports, or industrial sites where AFFF was used, you might still be at risk.
What do AFFF Lawsuits Allege?
In September of 2020, a firefighter, Lon Holliday, Jr., filed a lawsuit against several companies– including 3M– after developing bladder cancer. He worked as a civilian and military firefighter for years, was regularly exposed to AFFF in training and extinguishing fires. He claims that AFFF caused his cancer. In addition, Holliday states that by the end of the 1980s, manufacturers such as DuPont had performed testing and research demonstrating that those exposed to PFAS had a higher rate of cancer and other health issues.
Despite having this data, Holliday alleges that DuPont did not share this information with the government or the general public. In other words, DuPont knew or should have known of the adverse health effects of PFAS in firefighting foam yet did not warn anyone of those risks.
Over 2,000 Sites Nationwide Have Been Contaminated
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), there are currently 2,337 sites in 49 states that have been contaminated with PFAS. Therefore, this is not an issue isolated to specific geographical areas. With so many contaminated sites and more details coming to light, our attorneys at Douglas & London strongly recommend that you reach out to an experienced AFFF lawyer. A class-action lawsuit was filed in February of 2020 against companies that manufacture firefighting foam.
Over $4 Billion Won on Behalf of our Clients
For nearly 20 years, our attorneys at Douglas & London have vigorously fought for justice. We have won more than $4 billion in jury verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. If you have questions about whether you qualify for an AFFF lawsuit, contact us today to arrange your free consultation.