Aqueous Film Forming Foams: First Responders

Firefighting Foam (AFFF): A Deadly Hazard for First RespondersIf you are or were a fire-fighter, do you recall getting foam on your hands, clothes, or even breathing in small particles of it?  Many of our civilian and military first-responders have had these experiences and are now suffering health consequences, even years later.

For years, fire-fighters have used aqueous film-forming foams, also called AFFFs, to help contain and put out fires.  Many of these foams contain chemicals like perflurooctane acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). These compounds have recently been shown to cause health effects like thyroid disease and testicular, kidney and bladder cancers.

PFOA and PFOS can accumulate and stay in the body, building up over time.  Long-term exposure can lead to serious health problems. There is currently a national multi-district lawsuit relating to injuries from groundwater contamination associated with AFFF pending in South Carolina.

It is very important that all first responders who use AFFFs take precautions and avoid exposure to these toxins.  The U.S. Fire Administration has identified the hazards of AFFFs and outlined some precautions that firefighters and fire departments can take to minimize risk .

If you have been exposed, you should seek medical guidance to check for exposure-related health risks.

If you have been exposed to PFOA or PFOS and have developed thyroid disease, or testicular, kidney or bladder cancer, it is important to talk to an attorney about your legal rights and whether your case should be filed in the ongoing multi-district litigation.  The Buchanan Law firm can help and provides free consultations for victims of AFFF.  Call 505-900-3559.