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Firefighter cancer lawsuit over AFFF fire foam exposure.

Firefighter Cancer Lawsuit Filed Over Exposure to AFFF Fire Fighting Foam - A former Nevada firefighter claims in a product liability lawsuit that exposure to aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) caused the development of prostate cancer due to hazardous compounds in the firefighting foam.


On June 5, Joseph Planck and his wife, Launa, filed the case (PDF) in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, claiming that his years of use of fire foam as a Clark County firefighter contributed to his cancer diagnosis.


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Defendants in the lawsuit include 3M Company, Johnson Controls International, Tyco Fire Products, Chemguard, Buckeye Fire Equipment, National Foam, Inc., Kidde-Fenwal, Inc., E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, the Chemours Company, Corteva, Inc., Archroma Management, Arkema, Inc., AGC Chemicals America, Daikin America, Dynax Corporation, Amerex Corporation, Clariant Corporation.

Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) has been employed in military facilities and by some civilian firefighting organizations across the United States to combat petroleum-based fires that cannot be controlled or dampened by water alone. According to the lawsuit, the AFFF foam is unreasonably harmful for its intended application because it contains perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), both of which are cancer-causing compounds known as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Planck claims he was exposed to foam while working as a firefighter at Clark County Fire Station from 1981 until 2003. AFFF was utilized during ordinary training at the time. He was also stationed at McCarran International Airport, where the flame-retardant foam was allegedly used much more regularly, according to the lawsuit.

“At no point during his training or career did he receive any warning that Defendants’ AFFF containing PFOA, PFOS, and/or their precursor chemicals was toxic or carcinogenic,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that the firefighter’s prostate cancer diagnosis in June 2018 was a direct and proximate effect of his exposure to the chemicals, necessitating surgery to remove his prostate the following month.

Because of its resistance to heat, grease, stains, and water, PFAS was originally used in the industrial business in the 1940s. However, the chemicals have been connected to a slew of negative health effects since then, including liver damage, thyroid illness, poor fertility, high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression, and cancer.

Learn More: Who Should File an AFFF Lawsuit?

PFASs are chemical chemicals that are used to make a variety of items, including food packaging materials, pizza boxes, popcorn bags, textiles, nonstick frying pans, and other things, in addition to firefighting foams. Over the last decade, firefighting foam has been routinely utilized at military bases across the country during normal fire extinguishing drills, and it is increasingly being employed by civilian firemen.

The compounds are expected to decay over thousands of years, and previous research has shown their capacity to penetrate and remain in the environment and human body via air, dust, food, soil, and water. Previous research conducted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States has revealed that PFAS chemicals primarily settle into the blood, kidney, and liver, and might likely be discovered in the blood of 98% of the U.S. population.

A federal examination conducted in June 2019 discovered that PFAS chemicals are regularly identified in a variety of food goods, including meats, seafood, chocolate, cake, and other products. However, based on the best available evidence, the FDA issued a statement suggesting that the levels discovered do not pose health concerns.

Exposure may also depress the immune system and decrease the body’s ability to produce antibodies in response to childhood immunizations, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2012.

All firefighter foam claims filed in federal courts across the country were centralized in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina for preliminary proceedings in December 2018.

If you or someone you know exposed to AFFF or Firefighting Foam. You may be eligible for compensation.

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