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How many firefighters get cancer due to AFFF?

There are over 1.1 million volunteer and career firefighters throughout the country, out of which approximately 20% develop cancer as a result of AFFF exposure.

answered by Gregory A. Cade

20% of the firefighters regularly exposed to AFFF come to struggle with a form of cancer

Aqueous film-forming foam, commonly know as AFFF, has been used by firefighters both during training and on the job since 1970, as it is very effective in extinguishing petroleum and jet fuel fires. However, AFFF contains two groups of toxic chemicals, namely PFOS and PFOA.

Prolonged exposure to PFOS and PFOA can lead to adverse human health effects over the years. It is estimated that 20% of firefighters come to struggle with a disease as a result of frequent exposure to AFFF. Nevertheless, it is important to know that it takes several years of exposure for a firefighter to develop a form of cancer.

If you are a firefighter who developed a disease as a consequence of occupational exposure to AFFF, you have the legal right to seek compensation from the liable company. A lawyer with vast experience in toxic exposure cases will be able to help you file a lawsuit against the responsible company and if you were exposed in the military, a claim with the VA for disability compensation as well.

While AFFF is not a carcinogen in and of itself, the PFOS and PFOA it contains are

Because it contains two groups of carcinogenic substances, PFOS and PFOA, AFFF is harmful to the health of humans, and exposure can result in terrible diseases such as:

Once they are released, PFOS and PFOA contaminate the environment which leads to greater health risk for the general public. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies PFOS and PFOA as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” and numerous medical studies found that prolonged exposure to these two groups of chemicals has serious effects on our health, leading to the development of several cancers. For this reason, firefighters and military personnel who regularly use AFFF, whether in training or during service, are at the highest risk of receiving a dire diagnosis as a result of their frequent exposure to the PFOS and PFOA present in AFFF.

Recovering compensation for diseases caused by AFFF

In the unfortunate event that you developed a form of cancer as a consequence of exposure to PFAS-based firefighting foams in occupational or military settings, you are entitled to financial compensation.

A lawyer who specializes in toxic exposure cases will help you file a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the PFAS-containing foams you were exposed to so that you will receive the maximum compensation possible for your AFFF-relate disease.

If you are a veteran, your lawyer will also file a claim for disability compensation with the VA. Eventually, you will recover the compensation you deserve, which will also help you afford better healthcare and treatment.

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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