Firefighters extinguish fire using foam

Firefighter Foam Exposure Injuries

Rodman Law Office   Feb. 6, 2024

In the world of fire and rescue, foam is more than just a word—it's a lifesaver, a vital tool in the hands of our brave firefighters. But, what happens when this protector turns into a silent adversary? Let's examine an often-overshadowed aspect of firefighting: the risks and implications of firefighter foam exposure.  

Firefighter foam, also known as firefighting foam or AFFF (aqueous film-forming foam), is a type of foam used extensively in extinguishing flammable liquid fires. It's undoubtedly effective at what it does, but there's a dark side to it. There are increasing concerns about the potential health risks linked to exposure to the chemicals present in the foam. 

The Health Risks Associated With Firefighter Foam Exposure

Exposure to firefighter foam can lead to a host of health risks. Here are a few you should be aware of: 

  • Increased risk of cancer: Certain studies suggest a link between exposure to some chemicals in firefighter foam and an increased risk of cancer, especially testicular, kidney, and bladder cancer. 

  • Hormonal disruptions: Chemicals in firefighter foam, such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), can interfere with hormone regulation in the body, potentially leading to reproductive and developmental issues. 

  • Organ damage: Long-term exposure to these chemicals might cause damage to organs such as the liver, kidneys, and lungs. 

  • Respiratory problems: Inhaling fumes or particles from firefighter foam can irritate the respiratory system and lead to breathing difficulties, asthma, or other respiratory conditions. 

  • Skin irritation: Direct contact with firefighter foam can cause skin irritation, rashes, or even chemical burns. 

Clearly, none of these conditions should be taken lightly. So, what can we do? 

It's important for all firefighters and individuals who may come into contact with firefighter foam to be aware of these potential health risks and take necessary precautions to minimize exposure. If you or a loved one ever suffer from any symptoms linked to firefighter foam exposure, seek medical attention immediately and inform your doctor.  

The Ins and Outs of AFFF Lawsuits

Aqueous Film-Forming Foam has been a firefighting staple since the 1960s. It's an effective tool against flammable liquid fires, especially at airports and military bases. However, it contains perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), dangerous chemicals that pose significant health risks. 

These PFAS chemicals are incredibly durable, meaning they don't break down over time. This leads to potential long-term health effects, including an increased risk of various types of cancer. The EPA, CDC, and ACS have all recognized these potential health risks associated with PFAS exposure in firefighting foam. 

Who's At Risk? 

Our firefighters bear the brunt of this hazard. They're frequently exposed to AFFF, particularly those stationed at airports and in the military. This constant exposure puts them at a higher risk of developing cancer later in life. 

What You Can Do: AFFF Lawsuits 

If you're a firefighter who's been exposed to AFFF and subsequently diagnosed with cancer, you have legal options available. AFFF lawsuits can be filed to seek compensation for any damages related to your PFAS exposure and cancer diagnosis. 

As a Texas personal injury attorney, I'm here to help guide you through this process. I understand that it's a difficult time for you and your family, and my aim is to make the legal aspects as smooth and stress-free as possible. 

Compensation for Firefighter Foam Exposure Injuries

If you or a loved one have suffered from firefighter foam exposure injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for various damages, including: 

  • Medical expenses: This includes coverage for medical treatments, surgeries, medications, and ongoing healthcare needs related to the injuries. 

  • Lost wages: You're entitled to compensation for income lost due to the injuries, including past and future lost earnings. 

  • Pain and suffering: Damages for physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life caused by the injuries are also covered. 

  • Disability or disfigurement: If there's any permanent disability or disfigurement resulting from the foam injuries, additional compensation is warranted. 

Your Legal Rights and Community Considerations

If you or a loved one have been affected by firefighter foam exposure injuries, it's crucial to understand your legal rights. As a personal injury lawyer, I'm here to provide guidance and assistance in pursuing a legal claim against responsible parties, which may include foam manufacturers, firefighting agencies, or other entities.  

In addition to legal rights, there are also considerations for individuals and communities affected by firefighter foam exposure. These include: 

  • Proper disposal: Foam contaminated with PFAS chemicals must be disposed of properly to prevent further harm to the environment and potential health risks. 

  • Alternative firefighting methods: While highly effective, firefighter foam is not the only option for extinguishing flammable liquid fires. Firefighters should consider utilizing alternative methods, such as dry chemical agents or water-based foams, to reduce exposure and potential health risks. 

  • Advocacy and research: Continued advocacy and research are needed to raise awareness about the health risks of firefighter foam exposure and push for safer alternatives in the fire industry. 

Don't Underestimate the Power of Experienced Legal Representation

In conclusion, firefighter foam exposure injuries are a serious matter that deserves proper attention and action. If you or someone you know has been affected by these injuries, it's essential to seek medical attention and legal guidance promptly. With the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can protect your rights and pursue compensation for the damages suffered due to firefighter foam exposure.  

As a personal injury lawyer based in Austin, Texas, I'm dedicated to helping individuals who have been harmed by the negligence of others. I work with clients across the state, including Travis County, Williamson County, and Hays County. I invite you to contact Rodman Law Office today for a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options.