COVID-19 Updates: We are keeping our staff, clients and their family members safe and healthy. Our law firm is 100% operational, available in-person and 24/7 assistance by email and phone. Read More

Aqueous fire foam lawyers

Aqueous film forming foam, commonly known as AFFF, is a type of fire-suppressant foam used for fighting high-hazard flammable liquid fires (Class B). Although AFFF is very effective in extinguishing Class B fires and saving human lives, it has recently been determined to be highly toxic as it contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Increasing scientific and medical evidence back up our medical research team that shows that exposure to PFOA and PFOS - the most well-studied PFAS to date - through AFFF is related to kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, testicular cancer, bladder cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, neuroendocrine tumors, and prostate cancer. If you suspect that your cancer, or another serious medical condition, was caused by exposure to AFFF, get in touch with our expert attorneys who will help you recover the financial compensation you deserve.

Meet Our Lawyers

What is AFFF?

Aqueous film-forming foam, while very effecting in extinguishing class B fires, contains a group of dangerous chemicals that are known as PFAS. As a group of artificial chemicals, PFAS were initially manufactured for the Manhattan Project, whose purpose was to create the nuclear bomb for World War II. Fluorine gas, a gas so strong that it can burn water and steel, was used to separate uranium for the manufacturing of nuclear bombs. Minnesota is Ground Zero for the contamination with PFAS which is occurring in the entire country. The chemicals are in the blood of everyone by now.

In 1950, the company 3M bought the facility in Minnesota to continue manufacturing PFAS. They also began including PFAS in aqueous film-forming foam, also known as AFFF, which all firefighters have since been using to extinguish class B fires. The company was also selling the chemicals to DuPont, another notorious business that made use of PFAS for the production of Teflon, a non-stick material used for cookware. By virtue of the ability to repel oil, water, and stains, as well as to withstand temperatures of 1,700 degrees, PFAS soon became a commercial success. However, the chemicals are non-biodegradable and thereby persist in the environment and in the human body once inhaled or ingested, being able to lead to the development of serious diseases such as kidney cancer, leukemia, and pancreatic cancer.

Unsurprisingly, 3M has been aware all along of the devastating effects of exposure to PFAS on the human body, but it chose to subvert science and cover up the scientific evidence supporting the toxicity of the chemicals. In 2000, the company stopped manufacturing PFAS. Nevertheless, before it ceased the production of the chemicals, it has been gaining almost one-half a billion dollars every year from selling PFAS. One piece of evidence that 3M was aware of the toxicity of PFAS from the beginning was the label they gave DuPont when selling the chemicals to the company, label which stated "CANCER: WARNING: Contains a chemical which can cause cancer".

Who can be harmed by the fire suppressant AFFF?

The most studied toxic chemicals in AFFF are perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Originally produced by 3M, these compounds have been used in manufacturing all kinds of chemical products. Although efficient, PFASs have unique properties that cause them to persist, accumulate in the blood and body of people exposed to them, and are also extremely persistent in the environment and likely have toxic effects on human health.

The people that are most affected by exposure to AFFF worked or lived in or around the following areas:

The U.S. military used AFFF during firefighter training and during emergencies. AFFF containing PFAS has also been used in various ways by the U.S. Navy, and other branches of the military, since 1960.

Therefore, individuals at the greatest risk of harm from AFFF are the firefighters who use it, Air Force personnel who were directly exposed to it, those who manufacture the foam, and people living near military bases where AFFF was used.

Firefighting foam and groundwater contamination

What is most concerning about AFFF-impacted sites is the fact that PFASs have contaminated the groundwater and municipal water supplies. In Alabama for example, people are familiar with the Dupont litigation regarding the contamination of drinking water from the facility manufacturing PFAS. Our firm currently represents the nation’s largest water supplier in regards to contaminated drinking water in several states.

Recently, more than 40 classes of PFAS were identified in groundwater at essentially every AFFF-impacted site that was investigated.

Consequently, drinking water that is contaminated through AFFF infiltration can also be an important exposure pathway, harming individuals even though they never had direct contact with the firefighting foam.

Pending lawsuits allege that the defendants have each designed, manufactured, and distributed AFFF containing PFAS in such a way as to cause the contamination and the resultant bioaccumulation of PFAS in the blood and body of many individuals. AFFFs containing PFAS have contaminated the groundwater at various military bases, airports, and other sites where the foams were used, eventually causing a wide range of health risks, property damage, and/or other economic losses.

Quality legal assistance for AFFF contaminated victims

If you, or a loved one, have been harmed by exposure to the PFAS in the fire suppressant AFFF, and later diagnosed with kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, testicular cancer, bladder cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, neuroendocrine tumors, and prostate cancer you have the right to hold the manufacturers accountable for the harm they caused and receive compensation for your injuries. While no amount of money can erase the pain you suffer, the compensation can ease the financial burdens associated with the injury and potentially hold the negligent entity responsible for its actions. Environmental Litigation Group P.C. has filed a number of lawsuits to fight for victims of AFFF contamination. Our knowledgeable, dedicated lawyers have experience with all types of environmental toxic tort cases, including water contamination. Our firm serves on the Plaintiffs Executive Committee for the nationwide litigation and is heavily involved in working with other lawyers from around the country.

Serious AFFF exposure risks

Health organizations such as The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Cancer Society (ACS) and U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) have found that certain PFAS may affect the immune system and increase the risk of cancer. Our industrial hygienists and medical research team came to the same conclusion. The EPA has classified the chemicals in the foam products as 'emerging contaminants', meaning that the health hazards and environmental risks associated with AFFF are significant.

Recently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified PFOA as a "possible carcinogenic to humans", based on evidence of bladder cancer from studies in factory workers exposed to PFOA. Cancers associated with exposure to AFFF include:

Firefighters were never told about the health consequences of AFFF and no one made much effort to stop it from escaping into the environment. After years of exposure, PFAS contaminated and accumulated in the blood and body of many firefighters, family members, and people living near military bases in the states where AFFF was used.

As a result of the exposure to AFFF containing PFAS and the accumulation of these toxic chemicals in their blood, many people have developed cancers, especially testicular cancer. International studies on firefighters confirmed that they are at increased risk of testicular cancer, which can even be considered an occupational disease for firefighters. Besides accumulating in the blood of exposed individuals, these man-made chemicals accumulate throughout life especially in the liver and kidneys, increasing the risk of getting cancer and other serious diseases.

Holding manufacturers responsible for harms caused by their products

When a product is designed and marketed as a safe one, the last thing it should do is harm you. But when a manufacturer misrepresents the safety of its products, this raises the question of whether the manufacturer tested the product appropriately or knowingly released it to the public with a defect.

Regarding AFFF foam products, it seems that chemical manufacturers deliberately ignored evidence of the harmful effects resulting from exposure to toxic chemicals on the health of military personnel, firefighters, private citizens, and the environment.

The AFFF products were designed, marketed, manufactured, distributed, and sold by one or more of the following companies named as defendants in current legal actions:

  • 3M Company
  • Tyco Fire Products
  • Buckeye Fire Equipment
  • Chemguard
  • Du Pont de Nemours
  • The Chemours Company
  • Chubb Fire
  • Corteva
  • National Foam
  • Kidde Fire Fighting
  • UTC Fire & Security America’s Corp.
  • Enterra Corp.
  • Williams Holdings
  • Dynax Corporation

3M and the other chemical companies are currently facing a growing number of lawsuits over chemical-based firefighting foam sold for more than 50 years and used extensively at U.S. military bases, airports, and other industrial sites around the country. In order to protect our environment and ensure the restoration of damaged natural resources, we must hold responsible the manufacturers who knew of the dangers of these products.

PFAS Contamination in the United States

The pulsating dots on the map are clickable and show PFAS contamination on military bases, municipal water wells, private water wells, and groundwater.

We serve veterans diagnosed with cancer following AFFF exposure

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has accepted that veterans may have been affected by exposure to PFOS and PFOA. The department has added the chemicals to its list of possible toxic military exposures and asks veterans to report any health problems associated with exposure to the fire-fighting foam in military facilities. If you are a veteran who has experienced one of the conditions mentioned above and feel you were exposed to AFFF or contaminated water at one of the bases listed on the Pentagon’s report, you may be eligible for compensation from the VA or a class action lawsuit. Class action lawsuits are filed by product liability and toxic tort attorneys, alleging that the AFFF firefighting foams used on many military and air force bases contain PFOA and PFOS, toxins linked to groundwater contamination and serious health issues. If you have been harmed by toxic AFFF exposure give us a call to discuss your legal options.

Common questions

Although AFFF is not carcinogenic in and of itself, it is the two groups of chemicals in it, PFOS and PFOA, which are carcinogenic to humans. Thereby, exposure can lead to various forms of cancer over the years.

Read more

AFFF has been used for the last 50 years to extinguish class B fires by both civilian and military firefighters, as it is very effective. However, it contains PFOS and PFOA, two groups of dangerous chemicals.

Read more

Aqueous film-forming foam, commonly known as AFFF, has been used since 1970 to extinguish class B fires. Because it contains PFOS and PFOA, two groups of carcinogenic chemicals, exposure can lead to serious diseases over the years.

Read more

Approximately 20% of the firefighters who are regularly exposed to AFFF come to struggle with a form of cancer, whether their exposure occurred on the job or while serving in the military.

Read more

Disability compensation for exposure to AFFF is available only for firefighters who served in the military. However, civilian firefighters can also recover compensation by filing a lawsuit against the company which manufactured the product.

Read more

No, the military cannot be held responsible for exposure to AFFF, as the company which manufactured the product is liable for your exposure. Therefore, a lawsuit will be filed against it and not against the military.

Read more

If you developed a disease following exposure to AFFF, you have the legal right to file a lawsuit against the company which manufactured the product you regularly used.

Read more

If you were exposed to AFFF by living in close proximity to a military base, which used the product, you do not qualify for compensation, as only firefighters and military personnel can take legal action.

Read more

Although the PFOS and PFOA in AFFF can be harmful to the human body in any amount, exposure needs to occur for several years for a person to develop cancer.

Read more

If you decide to file a lawsuit with the help of a specialized attorney, you will only have to provide them with your employment or military records, as well as with your medical records, documents which will be used as evidence for your case.

Read more

See more questions