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Who qualifies for financial compensation for exposure to firefighting foam?

Firefighters, including those stationed at military bases and airports, routinely exposed to poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, and currently diagnosed with kidney, pancreatic, or testicular cancer, are entitled to monetary compensation for their injuries.

answered by Gregory A. Cade

Both civilian and military firefighters may have a claim for substantial compensation

PFAS can concentrate over time in the human body through a process known as bioaccumulation. The PFOA half-life in humans is anywhere from two to four years, while other PFASs have been shown to have a half-life of over eight years. Ongoing exposure to low levels of PFAS can lead to concentrations high enough to potentially increased health risks.

Individuals most likely to have concerns regarding PFAS containing AFFF exposure include:

  • Civilian firefighters, including volunteers, when existing PFAS containing AFFF stock are used for emergency fire suppression.
  • Military personnel - in addition to the civilian firefighters, those that work as firefighters in the military in every branch are at a very high risk of developing cancer caused by AFFF exposure. The U.S. Armed Forces have been using PFAS-based firefighting foams since the 1960s. Much like civilian firefighters, military personnel may have been exposed even outside of actual firefighting emergencies during training exercises and non-critical missions.

Legal assistance to firefighters and military personnel

Our team of experienced lawyers will hold accountable the manufacturers who knew of the dangers of these products and make sure you receive full compensation for the harm done to you. We will walk you through every step of the process and maintain close communication with you in regard to your case’s progress.

You do not need to pay our fees unless we recover compensation for you, so you should not hesitate to explore your options with Environmental Litigation Group, P.C.

Other related questions

The widespread public exposure to dangerous levels of PFAS chemicals has prompted the EPA’s release of a PFAS “Action Plan” in February 2019. The plan focused almost exclusively on the perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) the main precursors in AFFF.

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A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed with the help of a specialized attorney by the surviving family members of a victim of AFFF exposure.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Exposure to PFOS and PFOA, the toxic chemicals in AFFF, can lead to the development of multiple serious diseases over the years, including kidney cancer and bladder cancer.

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The most accurate method to determine whether you have been exposed to chemicals is environmental monitoring, which is done by measuring the concentration of a chemical in the air and the duration of exposure to it.

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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.

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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.

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The duration of the legal process in cases of AFFF exposure can range between several months to one year, depending on how many companies are responsible for your exposure, as well as on the severity of your diagnosis.

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