Helping Firefighters And First Responders With AFFF Claims
Decades ago firefighters began using Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) to extinguish fires caused by petroleum and jet fuel. Little did firefighters know that the AFFF they were using contained hazardous chemical compounds (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)) linked to various diseases and cancers. In that regard, the U.S. Fire Administration, notes the following:
Certain PFAS can accumulate and stay in the human body for long periods of time. Long-term exposure to PFAS…, in high concentrations, causes a buildup in the body. This buildup may have negative health effects like a risk of thyroid disease and testicular, kidney and bladder cancers.” – See U.S. Fire Administration. [2020, February 11]. Retrieved from https://www.usfa.fema.gov/training/coffee_break/021120.html (2/27/2021).
The companies that manufactured AFFF knew the cancer-causing risks associated with PFAS, but they still manufactured and profited from the sale of AFFF, all the while exposing First Responders to hazards beyond those they already faced on a daily basis fighting fires.
In 2006, the EPA invited major leading companies in the PFAS industry to join in a program to achieve a 95% reduction of these cancer-causing chemical compounds by 2010, and total elimination of the compounds by 2015. – See United States Environmental Protection Agency. Fact Sheet: 2010/2015 PFOA Stewardship Program. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/fact-sheet-20102015-pfoa-stewardship-program (2/27/2021).
The companies’ solution: stop manufacturing or using “long-chain” PFAS and instead use “short chain” PFAS which were allegedly safer for humans. It appears that the “solution” was no solution at all— “short chain” PFAS were just as hazardous as their long-chain predecessors, if not more so. According to the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, a recent peer-reviewed study refutes claims by chemical industry that the next generation of … PFAS is safer than the two notorious PFAS chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases that were pulled off the U.S. market.” – See Environmental Working Group. [2109, August 22]. Study: Newer PFAS Chemicals ‘May Pose More Risks’ Than Those They Replaced. Retrieved from https://www.ewg.org/release/study-newer-pfas-chemicals-may-pose-more-risks-those-they-replaced (2/27/2021).
If you or your loved one is a firefighter or first responder who has been diagnosed with cancer after using or being exposed to AFFF products and you want a fighter on your side, call the Wyatt Law Firm at 210-255-2231 or send us an email for a free consultation.