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Firefighting Foam Linked to Cancer

Firefighters have used Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) for decades to suppress fires. Unfortunately, many of the chemicals found in AFFF can accumulate in the body over time and negatively impact overall health. If you were exposed to these toxic firefighting foam chemicals, you have a substantially increased risk of developing several serious, life-threatening illnesses, including cancer. Firefighting foam, particularly Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF), has been associated with several environmental and health concerns. AFFF contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are chemicals known for their environment and potential health risks.


Long-term exposure to PFAS has been associated with many illnesses, including:

  • Bladder cancer

  • Kidney cancer

  • Pancreatic cancer

  • Testicular cancer

  • Liver cancer

  • Breast cancer

  • Leukemia

  • Lymphoma

  • Ovarian cancer

  • Prostate cancer


If you were exposed to firefighting foam and you are facing a cancer diagnosis that you believe might be related to AFFF exposure, you should contact an attorney right away.


With so many AFFF lawsuits pending in federal court, each AFFF lawsuit has been consolidated into one multidistrict litigation (MDL). You can read more about MDLs here.


Judge Richard M. Gergel of the United States Federal Court for the District of South Carolina is the presiding judge in charge of this MDL. The purpose of an MDL is to consolidate all federal AFFF lawsuits that may have been filed in different circuits throughout the U.S. and bring them in front of one Judge to make discovery and pre-trial proceedings more efficient.


While some may refer to the proceedings as an AFFF class action lawsuit, it is actually an MDL. In a class action lawsuit, all claimants allege the same or very similar injury. The various AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits involve a wide array of different cancers and medical issues arising from AFFF exposure.


Below is some key information you should know about these cases:


  1. PFAS Contamination: The use of AFFF in firefighting and military training exercises has led to the release of PFAS into the environment. PFAS can contaminate soil, water sources, and groundwater.

  2. Environmental Impact: PFAS contamination has been linked to adverse environmental effects, including harm to aquatic ecosystems and wildlife.

  3. Health Concerns: PFAS exposure can have health implications for humans. These chemicals have been associated with a range of health issues, including cancer, immune system problems, and developmental effects.

  4. Legal Actions: Various lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of AFFF and entities responsible for PFAS contamination, seeking compensation for damages and cleanup costs.

  5. Regulatory Response: Governments and regulatory agencies in different countries have taken steps to regulate and limit the use of AFFF containing PFAS. Efforts have been made to phase out the use of PFAS-containing firefighting foam in certain applications.

  6. Cleanup Efforts: Contaminated sites have undergone cleanup efforts to mitigate the impact of PFAS contamination, although this process can be challenging and costly.


It's important to note that firefighting foam cases can vary in their specifics, and the extent of contamination and legal actions may differ from one location to another. Consult with an attorney if you believe you have been exposed to firefighting foam and you have subsequently been diagnosed with cancer.

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