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AFFF Toxic Exposure Lawyers
Legal Representation for Victims of PFOA/PFOS Exposure in Florida
At The Ferraro Law Firm, we represent current and former firefighters, as well as individuals affected by groundwater contamination, who are suffering serious medical conditions from exposure to aqueous firefighting foams (AFFF) containing the toxic chemicals perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and/or perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which are classified as per- and polyfluoroalkyls (PFAs).
These chemicals are often used in AFFF, and they been linked to multiple illnesses and health issues, including cancer. Even if you have never been in direct contact with AFFF or a similar firefighting foam, these dangerous chemicals can seep into nearby groundwater, exposing innocent victims to serious health risks.
Health Risks Associated with Exposure to AFFFs
The PFAS chemicals in AFFF cause several severe illnesses and health risks, as well as environmental problems. PFAS are water-soluble and bio-accumulative, which means that these chemicals can easily be dispersed through air and water – and accumulate in the human body.. Because AFFF is used to combat several types of fires, these toxins may contaminate the surrounding soil, air, and groundwater after fire emergencies and firefighting training exercises.
At The Ferraro Law Firm, we are actively taking on AFFF exposure cases and representing clients from a wide range of backgrounds, from military veterans to firefighters to private citizens. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with or suffered from any of the following conditions, contact our attorneys immediately so that we can begin assessing your case!
AFFFs containing PFAs have been linked to:
- Kidney cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Liver damage
- Thyroid disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Preeclampsia in pregnant women
- Cholesterol changes
- Immune system damage (e.g., antibody production and immunity issues)
Indirect Contamination from Contaminated Groundwater
PFOA and PFOS have been found in contaminated water systems that sustain runoff of AFFFs used at military bases, fire training facilities and commercial airports. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the use of these chemicals in 3M’s AFFF products back in 2002.
In the last several years, the EPA has lowered the acceptable PFOA/PFOS levels to 70 ppt, although some states have lowered it to 20 or 40 ppt.
Holding Chemical Manufacturers Accountable for Serious Injuries
Chemical-based fire-fighting foam was created, sold, and marketed by the largest chemical manufacturers in the world, such as 3M – and these products have now been extensively used by U.S. military personnel and firefighters for over 50 years. Despite growing evidence that PFAS chemicals such as PFOA and PFOS could cause cancer, thyroid disease, and endocrine disruption, these chemical manufacturers ignored the evidence and continued to put people’s lives at risk.
The Environmental Protection Agency has classified PFAS as “emerging contaminants” and is taking action to investigate and research the effects of these chemicals on the environment. As more and more people become sickened and hurt by chemical manufacturer negligence, we must take action to hold these companies accountable for failing to consider the public good.
Frequently Asked Questions: AFFFs
Is AFFF a carcinogen?
While AFFF itself is not classified as a carcinogen, fire-fighting foam does contain several known carcinogenic compounds, meaning that it has been shown to cause cancer in humans. This is because many AFFF types contain PFOS and PFOA, which are both highly toxic. According to a study performed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Harvard, these chemicals in aqueous film-forming foams have been linked to a wide range of cancers, particularly cancer of the kidneys, bladder, and testicles. AFFF exposure can also result in endocrine disruption and other serious complications.
Is AFFF foam toxic?
Yes, aqueous film-forming foams are considered to be toxic, especially if they contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFA) substances like PFOS and PFOA. Aside from posing a serious cancer risk with long-term exposure, PFA chemicals can accumulate and remain stored inside the body for long periods of time. As toxic buildup increases, you may be in danger of developing thyroid disease and other life-threatening illnesses. In addition to AFFF, PFAs can be found in commercial waxes, paints, and household products.
What chemicals are in AFFF foam?
While stable aqueous foams are effective at stopping fire, it takes many complex chemical interactions to create this type of fire retardant. Most notably, AFFF includes PFAs, but it also includes fluoro- and hydrocarbon surfactants, water, and air. When combined, these chemicals create an expansive foam that cools and suppresses fire at the source.
What is AFFF used for?
Originally developed in the 1980s to fight wildfires, AFFF is now used by most firefighters in the United States to stop the spread and re-ignition of fires. It is also used to contain fire hazards in various industrial settings.
Some of the most common places where AFFF is used on a regular basis:
- Oil rigs and refineries
- Military bases and facilities
- Bulk fuel storage centers
- Offshore oil platforms
- Chemical plants
- Aviation facilities
If you have become ill or lost a loved one due to toxic chemical exposure related to AFFF, connect with us immediately by calling (888) 554-2030.