Swenson & Shelley can help those suffering from cancer, other health problems from toxic firefighting foam

Stock image, St. George News

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Swenson & Shelley is informing firefighters and military personnel that if their department used a certain type of foam during training or fire suppression and have been diagnosed with cancer or have had other health problems possibly linked to the exposure, they may have the right to file a lawsuit and be compensated.

According to a press release from Swenson & Shelley, firefighter foam, known as aqueous film forming foam – or AFFF – and  perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances – PFAS chemicals – has been used by firefighters for decades to extinguish fires involving flammable liquids including gasoline, tars, oils, petroleum greases, oil-based paints, solvents, alcohols and flammable gasses such as butane and propane. 

Though firefighter foam was once widely used by civilian and military firefighters, it has been linked to an increased cancer risk in firefighters who have been exposed to PFAS chemicals, as well as others exposed to PFAS chemicals due to groundwater contamination. 

Toxic firefighting foams are categorized as Class A and Class B. Class A foams have been used by firefighters to extinguish Class A fires caused by plants, paper and wood, and these foams generally do not contain PFAS chemicals. Class B foams have been used to extinguish fires involving highly flammable liquids like gasoline and jet fuel. Many of the Class B foams are AFFF foams, which contain toxic PFAS chemicals. 

The concern is PFAS chemicals, which are synthetic chemicals found in AFFF. When AFFF foam is mixed with water and discharged, it forms a film that cuts off the oxygen going to a flame, thereby extinguishing the fire. 

AFFF foam is extremely effective at extinguishing fires caused by highly flammable liquids like gasoline and jet fuel; however, the PFAS compounds in firefighting foam have raised serious concerns about their toxicity to firefighters and regular people who have been exposed to the toxic substances that have leaked into groundwater supplies. 

Developed in the 1970s by the Department of Defense to fight fuel fires, AFFF has since been used widely by airports, military bases and civilian firefighters for training exercises and suppression of Class B fires. However, toxicological studies have since linked PFAS compounds contained in firefighter foam to an array of health problems and various kinds of cancers, including kidney and bladder cancer, as well as thyroid disease.

The widespread use of AFFF foam, especially during military training exercises, has in some cases developed into a serious public health concern by causing PFAS chemicals to slip into surface and ground water, causing municipalities to shut down drinking water supplies. 

Stock image by Connie Tucker from Pixabay, St. George News

The release of these toxic chemicals during emergency responses and training is one of the major causes of PFAS contamination on military bases, which has been linked to PFAS-contaminated groundwater in some communities surrounding certain bases. 

Occupational exposure to PFAS chemicals in AFFF foam may have led to declined health in some civilian and military firefighters and individuals exposed to PFAS-contaminated water. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, PFAS may be linked to liver damage, increased risk of asthma and thyroid disease, fertility issues, changes in fetal and child development and increased risk of certain cancers, including kidney and testicular cancer. 

In December 2019, the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act was approved, which took measures to address the PFAS contamination crisis. The legislation included important provisions to phase out the use of firefighting foam containing toxic PFAS chemicals. While the legislation has been applauded for its PFAS provisions, individuals and families across the country are still experiencing the devastating health effects caused by PFAS exposure. 

If your fire department used firefighting foam to put out Class B fires or if you believe you may have used AFFF foam with PFAS chemicals during training or fire suppression and you have been diagnosed with cancer or have had other health problems possibly linked to toxic AFFF foam exposure, you may be eligible for an AFFF cancer lawsuit. To explore your legal options, contact Swenson & Shelley Injury Attorneys at 435-767-7777.

• S P O N S O R E D  C O N T E N T •


  • Swenson & Shelley Injury Attorneys | Address: 107 S. 1470 E. Suite 201, St. George | Telephone: 435-220-3438 | Website.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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