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Can those near military bases also recover AFFF compensation?

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.

answered by Gregory A. Cade

Compensation available only for firefighters and military personnel who were directly exposed to AFFF

In the regrettable event that you live in close proximity to a military base which uses AFFF and came to struggle with a disease as a result of drinking contaminated water or of breathing polluted air, you do not qualify for compensation, as exposure must be occupational or military for one to become eligible for filing a lawsuit. While we are aware that you can develop a disease from drinking water which contains PFOS and PFOA, the two dangerous chemicals in AFFF, we regret to let you know that you are not eligible for applying for compensation in this situation, as only firefighters and military personnel who were directly exposed to AFFF can file a lawsuit against the company which manufactured the hazardous product.

The toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS confirmed at 126 active U.S. military installations

A DoD environmental investigation tested over 2.600 wells in and around military bases and found 61% of these to be contaminated with PFOS and PFOA chemicals.

Most at risk are those living in or near areas with frequent PFAS manufacture, disposal, or use such as firefighting training areas, aircraft crash sites, military airport hangars, chemical plants, oil refineries, or flammable liquid storages.

Oftentimes, more generations of the same family are affected by diseases linked with PFAS contamination, with genetic testing clearly showing no natural proclivity for said afflictions.

Every state in the country now has at least one DoD site with known or suspected PFAS contamination. Many states have many DoD PFAS sites, including New York, North Carolina, Michigan, California, Oregon, Texas, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

Military sites with confirmed "forever chemicals" contamination include:

  • Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Onondaga County, New York
  • Defense Fuel Support Point Verona, Verona, New York
  • Seneca Army Ammunition Plant, Seneca County, New York
  • Stanly County Airport, Stanly County, North Carolina
  • Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro, North Carolina
  • Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, Havelock, North Carolina
  • Camp Grayling, Crawford County, Michigan
  • Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Macomb County, Michigan
  • Battle Creek Air National Guard Base, Battle Creek/Springfield/Bedford Township, Michigan
  • Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Barstow, California
  • George Air Force Base, Victorville, California
  • Camp Roberts, Monterey County, California
  • Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos, California
  • Des Moines International Airport, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Klamath Falls International Airport, Klamath Falls, Oregon
  • Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, Colorado
  • Birmingham International Airport, Birmingham, Alabama
  • Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama
  • Naval Surface Warfare Center - Crane Division, Martin County, Indiana
  • Louisville Air National Guard Base, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Carlisle Barracks, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
  • New Castle Airport, New Castle County, Delaware
  • Patuxent River Naval Air Station, St. Mary's, Washington

If you have been affected by PFAS exposure, Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. can help you

If you have reasons to believe that your health problems might be a result of contamination with any of these chemicals and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve the quality of your life, our lawyers will help recover the utmost amount of compensation for you and your family.

Unfortunately, only firefighters and military personnel who use AFFF qualify for filing a lawsuit against the liable companies which manufactured the hazardous products.

A lawyer who specializes in toxic exposure cases will help you recover the compensation you deserve if you were exposed to AFFF on the job or while serving in the military and developed a related disease.

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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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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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.

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