What is AFFF?
According to CRCCare: “AFFF stands for aqueous film-forming foam. It is used as a fire suppressant and functions by cooling the fire and coating the fuel behind the fire. In addition, it creates a film between the fuel and oxygen to prevent further combustion..”
AFFF is widely used in civilian and military fire fighting.
Several scientific studies have linked AFFF with cancer either from direct contact with it or exposure over time to AFFF saturated areas. The result has been many lawsuits against the manufacturers for compensation for long-term effects and cancer causation.
Why would manufacturers be liable?
It has been alleged in legal papers that the manufacturers were aware of the dangers caused by AFFF and the chemicals used in the manufacture of AFFF, but that the manufacturers withheld this information in the interests of profit.
There is a legal obligation on manufacturers to disclose all known risks of their products. Where they are found not to have done so, and someone suffers an injury caused by the materialization of the risk, there could be a legal claim which may result in an award.
Can only firefighters sue for exposure to AFFF?
Firefighters are directly exposed to the foam in their line of work and have a firm action in the claim. However, there is much wider exposure through contamination of water supplies from the AFFF.
According to Florida personal injury attorney Matt Dolman, an advocate with extensive AFFF foam lawsuit experience, “These lawsuits come after numerous studies and reports have shown the link between firefighting foam and the development of cancer among the many people that are exposed to it either in its use or its lingering in the environment (drinking water).”
So, even people who have developed cancer simply from drinking water contaminated by AFFF are suing.
Some class actions have been launched against the major manufacturers. There have even been a few settlements out of court.
If you have had kidney cancer, breast cancer, ulcerative colitis, testicular cancer, bladder cancer, testicular cancer, kidney cysts, tumors, and other illnesses and believe that you have been exposed to AFFF chemicals, you may have a claim.
What are the chances of me having been exposed?
If you have lived at a military base, there is a chance you have been exposed to water contamination. The military has used AFFF for many years. There is evidence that their environments have been contaminated over time.
Suppose you have been involved in any of the following industries. In that case, there is a chance you have been exposed: Oil refineries, oil tankers, flammable liquid storage and processing plants, emergency response teams, fire departments, airports, and chemical plants.
If you match the description and have developed any of the sicknesses outlined, you may be able to either participate in a class action lawsuit or sue directly. There are currently more than 500 AFFF cases pending – and there are expected to be many more.