AFFF (Firefighting Foam) Mass Tort Lawyers

AFFF is firefighting foam that is used to fight fires across the country. Unfortunately, AFFF contains hazardous chemicals called PFAS that have been linked to a variety of medical conditions. One such condition is cancer. Many lawsuits allege AFFF manufacturers knew about these health risks and did nothing to advise those who would use them about the danger.

If you believe that you’ve developed cancer as a result of exposure to chemicals found in AFFF, you could be owed compensation. Call Chris Hudson Law Group at (706) 863-6600 for a free consultation about how we can help.

What Is AFFF?

Firefighters use aqueous film-forming foam (Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF)) to fight liquid-fueled fires, such as those caused by oil and other flammable liquids. AFFF contains PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), which have been linked to cancer in humans. PFAS are known to be toxic, and they are called “forever chemicals” because they do not break down easily, whether in the human body, wildlife, waterways, or the environment. AFFF is the primary cause of PFAS contamination in drinking water.

Does AFFF Cause Cancer?

The National Cancer Institute has published research summaries that link AFFF to cancer because of the PFAS it contains. PFAS have properties that allow them to quickly suffocate fires, but exposure to PFAS can cause them to accumulate in the blood. When this occurs, they can bind to blood proteins and disrupt usual bodily functions. This increases the risk of cancer.

PFAS are believed to last thousands of years without breaking down. Prior to their inception, they were not usually detected in the human body. However, since their use has become widespread, they are now common. The PFAS compounds in fire foam are now recognized as carcinogenic and toxic. They are linked to many of the following health issues:

  • Thyroid disorders
  • Hormonal disruptions
  • Liver damage
  • Reduced fertility
  • High cholesterol

In addition to these conditions, they have been linked to a variety of cancer types, including:

  • Kidney
  • Breast
  • Ovarian
  • Endometrial
  • Testicular
  • Prostate
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Thyroid
  • Childhood leukemia

The PFAS in AFFF causes can cause cancer in the following ways:

  • Suppression of the immune system: A weakened immune system is less capable of finding and destroying cancer cells.
  • Disruption of cellular processes: When cellular processes are disrupted, hormone function can be disrupted, leading to cancer.
  • Bioaccumulation: Prolonged environmental exposure can lead to an increased risk of cancer.
  • Chronic inflammation: Chronic inflammation is a risk factor for some types of cancer.
  • Genotoxicity: Some PFAS can damage DNA. DNA damage can lead to mutations and the development of many cancers.
  • Tumor growth: Some studies have shown that PFAS support tumor growth.

If exposure to AFFF caused you to develop cancer, you may have a legal claim.

Current AFFF Lawsuits

AFFF lawsuits on behalf of firefighters and civilians take two approaches. First, lawsuits allege that the makers of AFFF did not disclose its health risks. Although AFFF has been used to control petroleum-based fires since the 1960s, it has been linked to cancer. It has also been linked to other health and environmental problems.

Many firefighters and military personnel have been exposed to the PFAS in AFFF foam. PFAS has been shown to be more harmful after long-term exposure. For this reason, firefighters, military personnel, and airport employees are now filing lawsuits. These lawsuits allege many harmful side effects could have been avoided with proper warning. 

The second type of AFFF litigation is based on the effect of AFFF chemicals on groundwater. Research has shown that AFFF runoff contaminated water around military bases and firefighting training facilities. For this reason, numerous water contamination lawsuits have been filed against the makers of AFFF.

Lawsuits against the following manufacturers are currently being filed:

  • 3M
  • DuPont
  • Chemours
  • Kidde-Fenwal
  • Other manufacturers

So far, both 3M and DuPont have paid billions in settlements as a result of PFAS litigation brought by public water suppliers and drinking water suppliers. These suppliers allege that both companies were aware of the dangers of PFAS.

Department of Defense AFFF Use

The Department of Defense started to use AFFF to fight fuel fires in the 1970s. These chemicals were released into the environment during emergency responses and training. They also made their way into groundwater near bases. Relatively recently, many concerns have been raised about their impact on health. AFFF has also been found to impact off-base water supplies. The Department of Defense is currently investigating the full extent of the issue. It is also taking steps to prevent future exposure.

What Is an AFFF Settlement Worth?

There are several factors that affect how much a plaintiff could obtain in a settlement:

  • Extent of injuries: The severity and extent of physical, financial, and emotional losses suffered by the injured person
  • Medical bills: Costs stemming from medical treatments, hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitation, and ongoing care
  • Lost income and earning potential: Wages missed because of the AFFF-related health condition and future wages missed if the person can no longer work
  • Pain and suffering: Physical pain and emotional suffering, anxiety, depression, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium

Consulting with an attorney is crucial. An attorney can review the details of your claim and assess a reasonable settlement amount.

Wrongful death claims have been filed against the makers of AFFF. The PFAS in AFFF are potentially deadly and can cause a variety of cancers. In some, these cancers can be fatal. If your loved one was exposed to AFFF and developed cancer, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Is Your Cancer Caused by AFFF Exposure?

If you believe your cancer is the result of AFFF exposure, you could be entitled to compensation. Chris Hudson Law Group can help you file your claim and pursue the compensation you deserve. Filing a claim on your own can be immensely difficult. Fortunately, one of our experienced attorneys can guide you through the process. Contact Chris Hudson Law Group at (706) 863-6600 to schedule a consultation.

Last Updated : April 19, 2024