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. Call (800) 504-0281
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
- Bladder cancer
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
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.