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Firefighting Foam and Forever Chemicals Lawsuit

Forever chemicals have been associated with various injuries throughout the decades, including groundwater contamination resulting in infertility, birth defects, and cancer.  Additionally, forever chemicals have been used by firefighters in the form of firefighting foam. Unfortunately, firefighting foam has been linked to causing cancer to firefighters.

GoldenbergLaw is currently investigating cases where an individual has been diagnosed with cancer or suffered a developmental injury from exposure to firefighting foam or other forever chemicals. Contact one of our Minnesota Firefighting Foam Attorneys today for a free consultation.

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Case Quick Facts

What Is A PFAS “Forever Chemical”?

PFAS is short for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. The PFAS family of more than 5,000 synthetic chemicals are known as “forever chemicals” due to the extremely long amount of time it takes these chemicals to disintegrate in the environment and in the human body.

PFAS chemicals are identified by key elemental bonds of fluorine and carbon. The strength of this bond makes it difficult for the chemicals to break down. PFAS chemicals have been used in multiple industries due to their ability to repel oil and water. They have been manufactured since the 1940s and can be found in Teflon nonstick products, polishes, waxes, clothing, stains and water repellants, paints, cleaning products, food packaging and firefighting foams.

Dangers Of Exposure To Firefighting Foam (AFFF)

One product containing a toxic forever chemical is known as AFFF– aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), or more commonly known as firefighting foam. It is used for liquid fire suppression. Its role is to cool the fire and to coat the fuel. This prevents the fuel from coming in contact with oxygen and, therefore, stops the formation of flammable vapors. It also provides dramatic fire knockdown, which is a key factor in crash rescue firefighting. Firefighting foam is used by firefighters, military personnel, and at airports.

The toxic chemicals in AFFFs include PFAS perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) which are compounds that were originally produced by 3M. These chemicals are used in manufacturing along with a variety of other chemical products. These PFAS chemicals can accumulate in the blood and bodies of individuals who have been exposed to them, which can lead to serious injury and cancer.

Injuries resulting from firefighters’ exposure to AFFFs include:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Acute kidney failure
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Bladder cancer
  • Infertility
How Are People Exposed To PFAS Chemicals?

Exposure to PFAS chemicals can occur through:

  • Public water systems and drinking water wells, soil, and outdoor air near industrial areas where frequent PFAS chemical manufacturing, disposal, or use occurs.
  • Indoor air or dust in spaces that contain carpets, textiles, and other consumer products treated with PFAS to resist stains.
  • Surface water (lakes, ponds, etc.) or groundwater receiving run-off or seepage from areas where firefighting foam was used.
  • Fish from water contaminated by PFAS chemicals.
  • Food items sold in the marketplace.
  • Food packaging.
  • Firefighting Foam.

Unborn babies and children can be exposed to PFAS chemicals through:

  • Umbilical cord blood from their mothers during pregnancy.
  • Breast milk or formula made with water than contains PFAS.
  • Food, water, and other products treated with PFAS chemicals.
  • Young children are at an increased risk of PFAS exposure from carpet and cleaning products due to the large amount of time spent lying and crawling on floors.
Health Effects Of Exposure to PFAS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes. If PFAS are ingested (such as by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated with PFAS), the PFAS are absorbed and can accumulate in the body for long periods of time. Once PFAS chemicals enter the body, they usually settle into the blood, kidney and liver.

Exposure to PFAS chemicals has been linked to:

  • Reproductive Problems
  • Developmental Problems
  • Liver Injuries
  • Kidney Injuries
  • Immunological Injuries
  • Cancer
The Defendants

Exposure to PFAS in the environment has been linked to manufacturing facilities owned and operated by 3M and Dupont. Both companies are facing multiple lawsuits from municipalities and individuals related to environmental contamination from forever chemicals and injuries linked to firefighting foam exposure. In 2018, 3M settled with the state of Minnesota for $850 million over allegations that forever chemicals produced by the corporation had contaminated drinking water and other resources in areas surrounding its manufacturing facilities. The funds will be used to invest in safe drinking water and other natural resource initiatives in the areas impacted by the contamination.

GoldenbergLaw Can Help

The Toxic Exposure Attorneys at GoldenbergLaw have been fighting for justice on behalf of victims of corporate negligence for over three decades. Our team is currently investigating cases where an individual has suffered an injury or been diagnosed with cancer after exposure to firefighting foam or forever chemicals. We have the experience  and expertise required to bring a successful firefighting foam cancer lawsuit.  Contact us today for a free consultation, and leave the sleepless nights to us.

Free Consultations

The Minnesota Cancer Attorneys at GoldenbergLaw have been representing victims of toxic contamination for over 30 years. Contact the Forever Chemicals Litigation Team at GoldenbergLaw today to receive a free consultation about a firefighting foam cancer lawsuit.

Contact Us 800-903-1643
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Government and Health Organizations Response To Firefighting Foam

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health observed that firefighters’ occupational exposure to these chemicals can occur through:

  • Ingestion of PFAS in dust from hand-to-mouth contact.
  • Ingestion of PFAS throughuse of contaminated personal protective equipment and firefighting suits.
  • Inhalation of PFAS in worksite air.
  • Absorption through the skin from PFAS material handling.

Major health organizations such as The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), American Cancer Society (ACS) have recognized that certain PFAS may be linked to cancer in firefighters. The EPA has even classified PFAS as “emerging contaminants” which means that they are dangerous to human health.

Due to the bio accumulative properties, including the potentially harmful and toxic effects of PFOA and PFOS, the European Union (EU) banned their use in the majority of applications, including AFFFs. In June 2012, EU fire brigades were required to stop using AFFFs containing PFOS and PFOA.

Firefighting Foam and Forever Chemicals FAQs

What are "Forever Chemicals"

The PFAS grouping of more than 5,000 man-made chemicals are known as “forever chemicals” due to the long time it takes for these chemicals to disintegrate. The difficult disintegration is caused by their characteristic fluorine and carbon bonds.

What is Firefighting Foam?

Aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) is more commonly known as firefighting foam. The foam is used for liquid fire suppression and works by cooling the fire and coating the fuel that is generating the fire. This prevents the fuel from coming in contact with oxygen which decreases the creation of flammable vapors. Firefighting foam is frequently used by firefighters, military personnel, and for commercial use at airports.

Can Firefighting Foam Cause Cancer?

Certain PFAS compounds may be found in firefighting foam. Consistent exposure to forever chemicals like those found in firefighting foam can lead to a build up of these chemicals in the body. This buildup can lead to long term health impacts, such as thyroid disease and certain cancers. 

Where are PFAS Forever Chemicals Found and How Can I Be Exposed?
  • Firefighting foam (AFFF)
  • Surface water (lakes, ponds, etc.) or groundwater that receives run-off or seepage from areas where firefighting foam was used
  • Public water systems 
  • Drinking water wells 
  • Soil 
  • Outdoor air near industrial areas where PFAS chemical manufacturing, disposal, or use occurs
  • Indoor air or dust in spaces with carpets, textiles, and other consumer products treated with PFAS chemicals to resist stains 
  • Fish from PFAS-contaminated water 
  • Food items sold in the marketplace
  • Food packaging
  • Teflon non stick products
  • Polishes
  • Waxes
  • Clothing 
  • Stains 
  • Water repellents
  • Paints
  • Cleaning products
  • Food packaging 
Can My Child Be Exposed to PFAS Chemicals If I Am Pregnant or Have a Young Child?

Yes, children may become exposed to PFAS chemicals in utero and young children are also at risk of exposure through: 

  • Umbilical cord blood from their mothers during pregnancy 
  • Breast milk or baby formula made with water that has been contaminated with PFAS
  • Food, water, and other products that have been treated with PFAS chemicals
  • Time on carpeting and exposure to cleaning products due to large amounts of time young children spend lying and crawling on floors
What Injuries Are Linked to Firefighting Foam and Other PFAS Exposure?
  • Kidney cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Acute kidney failure 
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Bladder cancer
  • Infertility and other reproductive problems
  • Developmental problems
  • Immunological problems 
Do I Have a Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuit?

If you have been diagnosed with cancer after exposure to firefighting foam, you may have a firefighting foam cancer lawsuit. Contact GoldenbergLaw’s Minnesota Cancer Attorneys today for a free consultation

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