The United States Department of Justice has recently decided to sue 3M, the company that made a product called PFOS or PFOA. The lawsuit claims these chemicals are causing cancer in hundreds of people who were exposed to them while they worked as firefighters and emergency medical workers.
The “afff lawsuit settlement amounts” is a blog that discusses the different types of PFAS chemicals and how they can affect people. The blog also includes information about the lawsuit between 3M and the American Forest and Paper Association, which was filed in 2017.
What Is AFFF Firefighting Foam, and How Does It Work?
AFFF, or aqueous film-forming foam, is used to put out flammable liquid fires.
It works because the foam forms a blanket over the fire, suffocating it and preventing it from receiving the oxygen it needs to burn.
PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid) and PFAS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid sulfonic acid sulfonic acid sulfonic acid sulfonic acid sulfonic acid (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances).
The military, airport employees, and firemen are the primary users of AFFF. Numerous fire departments have stopped using firefighting foam, although it is still used on many military sites in the United States.
Until the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (enacted Oct. 5, 2018), which contained a requirement that the FAA cease mandating AFFF usage no later than three years from the date of passage, firemen at airports were obliged to deploy AFFF firefighting foam (Oct. 4, 2021).
PFAS Chemicals: What Are They?
PFAS are a class of man-made hazardous compounds that have been connected to serious health concerns. As a consequence, certain PFAS harmful chemicals are no longer produced in the United States.
However, not all PFAS-containing hazardous compounds have been prohibited, and PFAS is still present in everyday goods and surroundings.
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl compounds are referred to as PFAS chemicals. According to Geo Forward, they are classified as C-8 compounds because they have a strong 8-carbon atom chain that is difficult to break down naturally.
When non-biodegradable substances enter the body, they may create severe health issues.
PFAS compounds have been linked to an increased risk of cancer and other health consequences, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Foam Hazards from Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF)
When AFFF chemicals are discharged into the environment, they may pollute soil, surface water, and groundwater. Chemicals may also infiltrate sewer systems, which may transport them to far-flung places.
The PFAS chemicals may subsequently enter the human body through water intake or other PFAS pollution, placing people who are exposed at risk of severe health issues including AFFF foam cancer.
In 2018, a government investigation found that PFAS were more hazardous than previously thought. As a result of this discovery, the safe limits of AFFF exposure have been revised.
How Do Toxic Chemicals Like PFAS Get Into Your Body?
Toxic chemicals like PFAS may be ingested in a variety of ways.
In the United States, drinking water is one of the possible sources of PFAS exposure.
Testing on some water systems from 2013 to 2015 revealed that approximately 6 million Americans have drinking water polluted with PFAS at levels over the EPA’s acceptable threshold.
Millions more Americans’ drinking water was also contaminated with PFAS, although at levels below the EPA’s safety limits, according to the tests.
In the first place, what are toxic chemicals doing in your drinking water?
The usage of PFAS-based firefighting foam may be responsible for a significant part of this pollution.
Contamination is discovered in greater quantities around PFAS-based aqueous film-forming foam, commonly known as AFFF, used by local fire departments, airports, military sites, and ports.
Food, food packaging, cleansers, and personal-care items all contain PFAS.
Types of Cancer Found in Firefighting Foam
The hazardous chemicals that make up firefighting foam have been linked to a variety of cancers, including:
- Bladder cancer is a kind of cancer that affects the bladder
- Breast cancer is a kind of cancer that affects
- Kidney cancer is a disease that affects the kidneys
- Tumors of the neuroendocrine system
- Pancreatic carcinoma is a kind of cancer that affects the pan
- Prostate cancer is a kind of cancer that affects men
- Testicular carcinoma is a malignancy of the testicles.
If you were a member of the military, a fireman, or an airport worker, or if you worked in another job that exposed you to AFFF and you got cancer, you may be able to bring a firefighting foam case to get compensation for your medical bills and other damages.
Occupations with a High Risk of AFFF Exposure
Because they are more likely to have worked directly with PFAS chemicals in the process of manufacturing or employing them to fight fires, the following professions are regarded to be among those with the greatest risk of AFFF exposure:
Who Else Could Be Affected by AFFF Exposure?
Even if you aren’t working in one of these high-risk professions, you may be exposed to AFFF.
Residents who live in locations where firefighter foam is applied or AFFF is disposed of are also at risk of firefighter foam health impacts.
Other concerns regarding AFFF exposure include the potential of pollution of groundwater or municipal water sources in locations where firefighting foam has been used.
People who are exposed to AFFF may experience more than just health issues.
People who reside in PFAS-contaminated regions have also seen a substantial drop in the value of their houses.
In such instances, homeowners may want to sell their house and relocate away from the polluted region, but they may find it difficult to sell due to the health concerns connected with PFAS pollution.
What Is the Government’s Reaction?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act was approved by Congress in 2018.
According to the group Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, the FAA Reauthorization Act contained an amendment that enabled both commercial aircraft manufacturers and U.S. commercial airports to opt-out of using PFAS-containing foams by 2021.
Because of the dangers associated with AFFF, the Department of Defense is undertaking research to develop a safer replacement. The Environmental Protection Agency is also looking at methods to safeguard the public from PFAS chemicals.
What Countries Have PFAS Toxic Chemicals Been Banned?
PFAS pollution is also being addressed by state and municipal governments.
For example, in 2018, Washington state enacted new legislation prohibiting the use of PFAS in food packaging and the sale of PFAS-containing firefighting foam.
The state recently approved legislation allowing it to regulate chemicals like PFAS in a wider range of consumer goods than simply food packaging and firefighting foam.
New York now mandates that all food service containers and wrappers bought by the state be PFAS-free.
PFAS and other chemicals are now prohibited in food packaging in Maine, and PFAS-containing firefighting foam is prohibited in Colorado. San Francisco and Berkeley, California, have enacted similar food packaging regulations.
A number of states are also establishing new drinking water regulations to safeguard people from PFAS pollution in their water.
Accountability for AFFF Manufacturers
One method to hold firefighting foam producers responsible for failing to warn customers about the product’s health hazards is to file a lawsuit.
Drinking water near military facilities where the firefighting foam was employed has been polluted, according to 3M, which produces and sells AFFF.
Multiple class action lawsuits have been filed against the business, alleging that 3M and other defendants knew AFFF presented substantial dangers to human health yet continued to sell the products regardless.
Hundreds of cases involving firefighting foam have been combined into a multidistrict action.
Tyco Fire Products, Chemguard, Buckeye Fire Equipment, and National Foam are also being sued for continuing to produce the product despite knowing about the possible cancer risks associated with firefighting foam.
PFAS chemicals are used in fire fighting foam and have been linked to cancer. If you have been exposed to fire fighting foam, it is important that you contact a lawyer for a PFAS lawsuit claim review. Reference: exposure to fire fighting foam.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of cancer does AFFF cause?
A: AFFF is a chemical name for the inorganic compound HFC-227ea, which is used as an ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon. Ozone depletion can lead to increased rates of skin cancer and other serious health effects.
Is fire Fighting foam carcinogenic?
A: Firefighting foam is a carcinogenic substance. This is because the chemical used to give it its fire fighting properties are known for being toxic and can cause cancer in humans. However, this does not mean that all of the foam itself will be dangerous as some of it should break off from contact with your skin anyway and wash away.
Is AFFF foam toxic?
A: AFFF (or in some cases, AFC) is a type of foam that is used for firefighting. Its generally considered safe to use and can be found at most hardware stores or online retailers like Amazon.
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