Dr Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others. We specialize in Personal Injury trial litigation and focus our energy and efforts on those we represent.

AFFF Cancer Lawsuit

AFFF Cancer Lawsuit. In this article, I am going to address and explain the epidemic of water contamination and the serious diseases and life-threatening cancers that people who have been exposed to PFAS, and AFFF. Finally, I’ll provide information on how to file an AFFF Cancer Lawsuit.
AFFF Cancer Lawsuit

AFFF Cancer Lawsuit. AFFF is linked to serious diseases and deadly cancers. Call Dr. Shezad Malik at 214-390-3189

What is Aqueous film-forming foam?

Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) is a type of fire suppressant used to extinguish flammable liquid fires, including petrol, oil, and other types of hydrocarbon-based fires. It is called “aqueous film forming” because it forms a barrier—a film of water—over the surface of the flammable liquid, which helps to cool the fire and prevent the vapor release that feeds the flames.

However, concerns have been raised about the environmental and health impacts of some of the chemical components used in AFFF, particularly per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are persistent in the environment and have been linked to serious health issues.

AFFF Cancer Lawsuit

A former Air Force firefighter, who was exposed to AFFF used to fight petroleum fires throughout his career filed a lawsuit alleging testicular cancer as a result of AFFF.

Gary Flook and his wife, Linda, filed their complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, claiming personal injury against several chemical and safety equipment manufacturing companies as defendants, including 3M Company, BASF Corporation, and others.

According to Flook, as well as several other similar lawsuits brought by firefighters diagnosed with other types of cancer, the manufacturers have withheld important safety warnings about the health risks associated with toxic chemicals in AFFF.

Flook, of Indiana, claims that he was exposed to AFFF while serving as a firefighter in the Air Force from 1977 to 2014. Flook also served as a volunteer firefighter from 1982 to 2019, where he again dealt with and handled the toxic firefighter foam.

In February 2000, Flook was diagnosed with testicular cancer and underwent surgery to remove his testicles, and received chemotherapy.

Flook’s lawsuit alleges manufacturers knew the firefighting foam products contained toxic perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS); both of which have been linked to increased risk of cancer.

According to Flook, during his use of Defendants’ AFFF products containing PFOA and/or PFOS and/or their precursor chemicals, he ingested the products, and the chemicals entered his body. Flook further notes that at no point during his training or career did he receive any warning that Defendants’ AFFF products containing PFOA and/or PFOS and/or their precursor chemicals were toxic or carcinogenic.

What are the dangers with AFFF?

The dangers associated with AFFF revolve around its environmental and health impacts, due to the presence of PFAS. PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that have been used in a variety of industrial and consumer products for their water-repellent, grease-repellent, and non-stick properties.

The challenge with PFAS is their “forever chemicals” nickname, which underscores their resistance to degradation, they do not break down in the environment and can accumulate in human and animal bodies over time.

Once PFAS contaminate a water source, they can remain there for a long time, posing risks to human health and the environment. Traditional water treatment processes are often inadequate for removing PFAS, requiring communities to invest in advanced treatment technologies, such as activated carbon filtration or reverse osmosis, to ensure safe drinking water.

How does AFFF contaminant drinking water?
AFFF can contaminate drinking water through several pathways, primarily because of its use in firefighting and training exercises at airports, military bases, and industrial sites. Here’s how the PFAS from AFFF water contamination typically occurs:
  1. Groundwater Infiltration: When AFFF is used or tested, it can seep into the ground and infiltrate groundwater supplies. Since PFAS are highly soluble in water, they easily move with groundwater flows, potentially reaching wells and aquifers that serve as sources of drinking water for nearby communities.
  2. Surface Water Runoff: AFFF can also enter surface water bodies (such as rivers, lakes, and streams) through runoff. This can happen after firefighting efforts, from spills, or during training exercises where AFFF is used and not contained. Once in surface water, PFAS can travel long distances and may eventually be drawn into water treatment facilities that supply drinking water.
  3. Leaching from Soil: PFAS present in soils at sites where AFFF has been used can leach into groundwater over time. This process is facilitated by rainwater and snowmelt, which percolate through contaminated soil, picking up PFAS and carrying them into the groundwater system.
  4. Waste Disposal and Treatment Plant Effluent: Waste materials from sites where AFFF is used, including soils and waters that have been contaminated with PFAS, can end up in landfills or wastewater treatment plants. Traditional wastewater treatment processes are not designed to remove PFAS efficiently, so these chemicals can be released into the environment through treated effluent or leachate from landfills, further contaminating water sources.

What is PFAS in AFFF?

PFAS in AFFF include a variety of fluorocarbon compounds, with perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) being among the most studied and widely recognized.

How does AFFF cause Cancer and other health issues?

The health issues associated with AFFF exposure to PFAS has been linked to a variety of health concerns, including but not limited to:

  1. Cancer: There is evidence suggesting that exposure to PFAS can increase the risk of certain types of cancer, particularly testicular and kidney cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified PFOA, one of the PFAS chemicals, as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
  2. Immune System Effects: PFAS exposure has been associated with immune system suppression. Studies have shown that it can reduce antibody responses to vaccines, making vaccines less effective in individuals with high levels of PFAS exposure.
  3. Developmental Effects: Prenatal exposure to PFAS has been linked to developmental delays in children, including lower birth weight, reduced hormone levels, and altered physical development.
  4. Reproductive Issues: PFAS exposure can affect fertility and reproductive health, potentially leading to decreased sperm quality, menstrual cycle disturbances, and reduced fertility rates.
  5. Thyroid Disease: There is evidence linking PFAS exposure to alterations in thyroid function, which can affect metabolism, energy levels, and overall hormonal balance.
  6. Liver Damage: PFAS can interfere with liver function and contribute to liver damage, indicated by increased levels of liver enzymes in exposed individuals.
  7. Cholesterol Levels: Exposure to certain PFAS has been associated with increased cholesterol levels, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
  8. Increased Risk of Hypertension and Pre-eclampsia: Pregnant women exposed to PFAS may have an increased risk of developing high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system.

AFFF Lawsuits

Lawsuits related to AFFF primarily focus on the environmental contamination and health impacts associated with its use, particularly due to the presence of PFAS. These lawsuits can be categorized into several main groups:
  1. Environmental Contamination Lawsuits: These lawsuits are typically filed by governmental entities, water utilities, and environmental organizations. They seek damages for the contamination of water supplies, soil, and ecosystems, aiming to recover the costs of cleanup, water treatment, and environmental restoration. Plaintiffs argue that the manufacturers of AFFF knew or should have known about the risks associated with PFAS but failed to warn users or take steps to mitigate harm.
  2. Personal Injury Claims: Individuals exposed to PFAS through AFFF and who have suffered health effects, such as cancer, thyroid disease, and other illnesses linked to PFAS exposure, have filed personal injury lawsuits. These claims often argue that the exposure to PFAS from AFFF resulted in their conditions, seeking compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.
  3. Class Action Lawsuits: Class action lawsuits have been filed on behalf of groups of individuals similarly affected by PFAS contamination from AFFF. These lawsuits might combine claims related to health impacts, property damage, and loss of property value due to contamination. Class actions allow for the collective pursuit of claims that might be impractical for individuals to litigate separately.
  4. Firefighter Lawsuits: Firefighters, who are among the most heavily exposed to AFFF during training and firefighting operations, have filed lawsuits alleging that their prolonged exposure to PFAS-containing foams has led to various health issues, including cancer. These lawsuits often claim that the manufacturers failed to adequately warn about the risks of PFAS exposure or provide instructions for safe handling.
  5. Military and Airport Personnel Lawsuits: Similar to firefighters, military and airport personnel exposed to AFFF in their line of work have also initiated legal actions, citing health concerns and insufficient warnings about the dangers of PFAS.

Manufacturers and suppliers of AFFF are the typical defendants in these lawsuits, facing allegations of negligence, failure to warn, and, in some cases, deliberate concealment of the risks associated with PFAS.

Who makes AFFF?
AFFF is produced by several manufacturers around the world, with some of the most notable companies historically involved in its production including:
  1. 3M Company: 3M was one of the original developers and manufacturers of AFFF containing PFAS, particularly PFOS. The company announced in 2000 that it would phase out the production of PFOS-based AFFF due to environmental and health concerns related to PFAS chemicals.
  2. DuPont (now part of Chemours): DuPont has been involved in the production of chemicals used in AFFF, including PFOA. Chemours, a company spun off from DuPont, has also been associated with the production and development of fluorochemicals used in firefighting foams.
  3. Tyco Fire Products (part of Johnson Controls): Tyco has manufactured AFFF used in various firefighting contexts, including military and civilian applications.
  4. Kidde-Fenwal (part of Carrier Global Corporation): Kidde-Fenwal produces firefighting products, including AFFF formulations for different firefighting needs.
  5. Angus Fire: Angus Fire is a UK-based company that produces a range of firefighting foams, including AFFF, for use in emergency response and industrial applications.
  6. National Foam: National Foam is a well-known manufacturer of firefighting foams, including AFFF, catering to various industries and emergency services.

Developed Cancer from AFFF?

If you or a loved one worked as a firefighter, military personnel, airport worker, and were exposed to the firefighting foam chemicals and developed any of the following serious medical diseases and cancers, Testicular Cancer, Kidney Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Breast Cancer, Liver Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Disease (Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism), Graves Disease, Hashimoto’s Disease then the Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm is here to help with filing an AFFF Cancer Lawsuit.

You can speak with one of our representatives by calling 214-390-3189, or by filling out the case evaluation form on this page.

Our law firm’s principal office is in Dallas and we have offices in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr Shezad Malik Law Firm represents clients in dangerous drug and dangerous medical device lawsuits nationwide.

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