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AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit 2024

Last Updated: July 1, 2024

Firefighting is among the most dangerous careers in the United States. While traditional firefighters answer emergency calls, people in many other career fields may have to fight fires as part of their work as well. Military personnel, chemical plant workers, and airport personnel can all encounter fires in their line of work. 

Many people—not just career firefighters—come into contact with firefighting foam, including aqueous film-forming foams, or AFFFs.  Research has shown that AFFFs contain dangerous chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) some of which may be carcinogenic (cancer-causing agents). It’s upsetting to think that people who are willing to put their lives on the line to save others have been unknowingly exposed to cancer-causing chemicals. 

AFFF is often used to contain and suppress fires caused by jet fuel spillage. In a wide variety of careers, it is possible to be exposed to the dangerous chemicals in AFFF. 

Studies on the link between AFFF and cancer have resulted in 1000s of lawsuits on behalf of men and women who allege that AFFF manufacturers have put them at risk of cancer and death. 

Many of these people, some of whom could be unpaid volunteers, place their lives on the line putting out fires –  their tools and equipment need to meet the highest standards of safety.

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If you believe that you or a loved one were harmed by toxic firefighting foam, you may be entitled to compensation.

AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit News & Update

  • July 1, 2024 - PFAS Legal Liability Risks and Burdens Point to More Settlements
  • June 1, 2024 - San Luis Obispo County files lawsuit against manufacturers of toxic firefighting foam used at airport.
  • May 1, 2024 - Per and Polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) Substances at NASA Wallops - In continuing with our commitment to provide ongoing communication, this website will provide updates on our ongoing efforts related to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.
  • March 1, 2024 - 2 companies that produce foam for firefighting have filed a request to be excluded from the PFAS lawsuit.
  • February 1, 2024 - Connecticut PFAS Lawsuits Reflect Growing Trend. Maine was the first state to bring 2 PFAS related lawsuits – 1 related to AFFF pollution allegations and one for PFAS contamination unrelated to AFFF. Now, Connecticut follows the same strategy as Maine by filing two of its own lawsuits for the costs of PFAS remediation within the state.
  • January 1, 2024 - National PFAS Case Proposes 25 People in Shift to Injury Claims.
  • December 1, 2023 - City of La Crosse and PFAS manufacturers sued by the Town of Campbell
  • November 1, 2023 - The City of Eau Claire has filed a lawsuit in federal court regarding PFAS.
  • October 1, 2023 - PFAS threats to health in all aspects of daily life.
  • August 1, 2023 - DC Sues Makers of Forever Chemicals, Joining Nationwide Litigation Surge.
  • July 1, 2023 - 3M settles $10.3 billion lawsuit over water system contamination - The chemical manufacturer 3M Co. said that it would pay at least $10,3 billion to settle lawsuits relating to the contamination of public water systems in the United States with compounds found in firefighting products and consumer products.
    June 1, 2023 - Camas files lawsuit in federal court against the manufacturers of Toxic Forever Chemicals.
  • May 1, 2023 - Judge approves Wolverine and 3M PFAS settlement of $54M.
  • April 1, 2023 - West Tisbury joins multidistrict PFAS suit - The West Tisbury Select Board unanimously voted to hire a Law Firm as their legal representative in the South Carolina multidistrict litigation involving PFAS.
  • March 1, 2023 - West Tisbury will participate in a statewide PFAS lawsuit. Select board seeks compensation from the manufacturers of toxic firefighting foam.
  • February 1, 2023 - Nation's Fire Departments Face PFAS Foam Replacement. According to lawyers and other groups, fire departments are facing liability risks as well as high costs and uncertainty when they switch from PFAS foam-enabled firefighting foam.
  • January 1, 2023 - Congress seeks to reduce PFAS exposure of firefighters. Under a proposal that President Joe Biden is yet to act on, firefighters will receive federal assistance to limit their exposures to toxic forever chemicals while on the job.

As of late 2022, AFFF lawsuits are progressing. In the summer of 2022, some of the roughly 2,700 lawsuits were consolidated into a class-action case. In the early fall, a trial date was listed, and later, a bellwether trial was ordered by a judge. The latter is scheduled for June 2023. A judge then dismissed a proposal from one of the main AFFF manufacturers, 3M, to throw out the case. In late 2023, AFFF firefighting foam lawyers began to a settlement with AFFF companies. The number of claimants joining the lawsuits has swelled, now numbering well over 3,000. 

Lawyers believe that even more people will come forward as awareness of the lawsuit continues to grow as the problems with AFFF are further publicized. If you or a loved one have developed health issues after using AFFF, it’s important that you reach out to us for a free case evaluation. We’ll work to understand the details of your case. If it’s likely that you will qualify for compensation in the AFFF lawsuit, we’ll connect you with a lawyer who can help you get the payout you deserve. Table of Contents

Toxic Firefighting Foam

Firefighting foam is separated into Class A and Class B. Each class of foam contains different chemicals and has different purposes. 

AFFF is a Class B foam, most commonly used to suppress fires where flammable liquids – oil, gasoline, jet fuel – are present. AFFF is manufactured by several companies: 3M, Tyco, and DuPont. AFFFs can contain PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances), PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) chemicals, which have been linked to several types of serious health issues, including cancer. These chemicals are complex While their impact on human health is not yet fully understood, a link to cancer has been reported in several major studies.

AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit

Firefighting Foam and Link To Cancer

Firefighters and others who use firefighting foam in their line of work are not the only ones who may experience adverse effects and serious health consequences after exposure to PFAS and PFOS. These chemicals are found in many industrial products. Studies on the connection link between cancer and PFAS/PFOS have covered different circumstances, including the effect of PFAS water supply contamination on public health.

The most worrying aspect of the research on AFFF is the link between  PFAS (PFOA, PFOS) and cancer. 

Many types of cancer have been associated with these PFAS chemicals, including:

  • Bladder cancer – This type of cancer is usually characterized by abnormal tissue growth in the lining of the urinary bladder.
  • Breast cancer – The most common type of cancer among American women, breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among women.
  • Colon cancer – Sometimes called colorectal cancer, as it can originate in the colon or rectum, colon cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and women in the United States.
  • Kidney cancer – Kidney (renal) cancer has been explicitly cited in the AFFF lawsuits, including those brought by military personnel.
  • Liver cancer – Around 40,000 cases of liver cancer are reported in the United States each year. A retired firefighter in the AFFF lawsuits claims long-term exposure to the foam caused liver cancer.
  • Pancreatic cancer – Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all cancers. It has been linked to PFAS exposure in the AFFF firefighter lawsuits.
  • Prostate cancer – The second most common cancer among men in the United States,firefighters have alleged prostate cancer was caused by AFFF exposure.
  • Rectal cancer – Sometimes overlapping with colon cancer, rectal cancer is among the types of cancer linked to long-term AFFF exposure.
  • Testicular cancer – At least one of the United States Air Force personnel involved in the current lawsuits against AFFF manufacturers has claimed exposure to the foam led to testicular cancer.
  • Thyroid cancer – Thyroid cancer and thyroid problems have been listed by claimants as being caused by AFFF exposure.
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Firefighting Foam Injuries & Health Problems

Aside from its link with cancer, AFFF and the chemicals contained within it (PFAS, PFOAS, and PFOS) have been linked to several other health issues. It’s key to remember that many people and community organizations are suing AFFF producers for water contamination in their area. In addition to cancer, other health problems linked to AFFF include immune system issues, hormonal balance problems, non-cancerous liver damage, elevated cholesterol levels, fertility issues and pregnancy problems (including preeclampsia and hypertension), child & fetal development issues, thyroid problems, hypertension in women, and asthma.

Firefighting Foam Injuries

AFFF Lawsuit Navy

AFFF exposure problems are not limited to emergency service/municipal firefighters. The majority of claimants in the AFFF cancer lawsuits seem to come from the United States Armed Forces. For instance, there were lawsuits filed by Navy Personnel, including a former Navy firefighter who developed testicular cancer and another who developed kidney cancer.

Air Force Firefighting Foam

For the last several years, The United States Air Force has been under scrutiny for its use of AFFF firefighting foam, with a wide-ranging debate occurring over the safety issues surrounding the product. The Air Force has implemented measures to change its AFFF, replacing it, in some cases, with AFFF containing a lower concentration of PFAS. Nonetheless, many Air Force personnel have joined the AFFF lawsuits, claiming exposure to the chemical has caused different illnesses and injuries, including cancers.

Firefighting Foam Law Firm

Right now, AFFF lawsuit law firms are taking on cases for those who may have been injured by PFAS exposure in firefighting foam. The defendants in the fire foam cancer lawsuits are the manufacturers of the AFFF products, not the US armed forces or government. If you have suffered an injury due to AFFF exposure, you might be eligible to join the current firefighting foam lawsuits. AFFF exposure attorneys in all 50 states are accepting new clients, and most believe there is a strong chance of securing significant compensation for those affected by the potentially life-threatening product.

Is AFFF Foam a Class Action Lawsuit or a Mass Tort Lawsuit?

Technically speaking, the AFFF Foam lawsuits are – or at least will be – considered a mass tort lawsuit. Mass tort lawsuits, which are often classified as MDLs (multidistrict litigations), are usually reserved for lawsuits where the claimants have broadly similar grievances against the defendant or group of defendants; in this instance, 3M, DuPont et al. A class action lawsuit usually comes when plaintiff grievances are very similar. 

Both types of lawsuits are used to expedite the litigation process, allowing information to be shared, establishing norms and rulings, etc. Compensation is usually shared equally in a class action, whereas payouts depend on individual circumstances in an MDL. 

Some of the AFFF lawsuits (such as those regarding contaminated water supplies) have been consolidated into a class action lawsuit. The majority of AFFF cancer cases are likely to be resolved within mass tort law, meaning claimants would expect to receive compensation on an individual basis, i.e., how they were personally impacted by exposure to the carcinogens in AFFF.

AFFF Lawsuit Settlement Amounts

If you have been impacted by firefighting foam exposure, you could be eligible for compensation. Right now, we do not know how the AFFF lawsuits will play out, but there is a chance that the companies who manufacture the firefighting foam will be forced to award claimants a payout, or they might decide to settle out of court. If the latter, the AFFF settlement could be very large. However, much depends on the number of claimants, whether it’s clear that cancers and other injuries were caused by AFFF chemicals, and if the companies involved are deemed to be at fault. Bloomberg Law reported this year that the total amount of compensation that AFFF companies might be forced to pay could run into billions of dollars.

AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit FAQs

What types of cancer is caused by AFFF?

Certain chemicals – PFAS, PFOA, PFOS – contained within some types of AFFF have been linked to causing cancer. These include breast, colon, liver, and kidney cancer.

What are the side effects of AFFF?

Many different AFFF side effects have been reported, including issues like asthma, child and fetal development problems, and cholesterol issues. However, the most worrying side effect is linked to the components – PFAS, PFOA, PFOS – found in some AFFF foams. These chemicals may cause a range of cancers in humans.

Is AFFF a carcinogen?

AFFF itself is not a carcinogen (cancer-causing substance), but some of the compounds found in it, such as PFAs, are classed as probable human carcinogens. This means they are likely to cause cancer in humans, particularly if exposed to large amounts or over long periods of time.

What is firefighting foam made of?

There are several types of firefighting foam. The current firefighting foam lawsuits focus on AFFF, Aqueous Film-Forming Foam. These are usually made using a combination of hydrocarbon and fluorosurfactant agents. It is the latter that can contain the PFAS and other possible carcinogenic chemicals. 

What chemicals are in fire fighting foam?

There are many chemicals in firefighting foam, and it should be remembered that it is manufactured by different companies, each with its own variation of AFFF. The main concern of the AFFF lawsuits is the level of PFAS (PFOAS, PFOS) in firefighting foam. These have been linked to cancer.

What is PFAS?

PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are human-made chemicals found in a wide variety of products. They have been in use since the 1940s, and they have both commercial and industrial use. You will find PFAS in everything from paint to carpets to firefighting foam.

Is fire extinguisher foam safe?

Generally, hand-held fire-extinguisher foams are non-toxic. However, the foam can irritate users or others nearby when exposed to the skin or eyes.

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If you believe that you or a loved one were harmed by toxic firefighting foam, you may be entitled to compensation.

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© Copyright Jazz Media Ltd. 2024. All rights reserved

About us

We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.

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© Copyright Jazz Media Ltd. 2020. All rights reserved