PFAS & Firefighting Foam Cancer

Firefighting foam, also known as aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), is a substance used to extinguish high-intensity fires. Unfortunately, this foam can threaten the health of the firefighters and military personnel who use it. Exposure to PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), which are commonly found in firefighting foam, has been linked to several different types of cancers. Many individuals who have developed PFAS-related cancer are now taking legal action against the manufacturers of firefighting foam, seeking justice and compensation for their injuries.

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Types of Cancer Linked to Firefighting Foam

Since the early 1990s, medical literature has consistently shown that PFAS-containing firefighting foam is extremely harmful to human health. Nearly a dozen different firefighting foam cancers have been linked to higher-than-average volumes of PFAS in a person’s blood, including:

  • Renal or kidney cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Prostate cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer (colon and/or rectal cancer)
  • Thyroid cancer

Firefighters who have been exposed to cancer-causing firefighting foam — especially airport and military firefighters — may want to share their exposure history with their doctors and attend regular medical checkups to keep a close eye on their health.

Renal (Kidney) Cancer

In the largest study to date on the link between firefighting foam and kidney cancer risk, researchers found evidence to suggest that people with higher concentrations of PFAS in their blood serum were more than twice as likely to develop kidney cancer compared to those with lower concentrations of the chemicals.

If you suspect exposure to PFAS chemicals caused your renal cancer, you may be eligible for compensation through a firefighting foam lawsuit.

Testicular Cancer

Past scientific evidence has shown a relationship between exposure to firefighting foam and testicular cancer, though the strength of this connection is still being determined.

Additional studies are currently being conducted, including a key research project by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) involving 800 U.S. Air Force veterans, to better determine the link between PFAS levels in the blood and increased testicular cancer risk.

Pancreatic Cancer

As with the kidneys and the liver, PFAS chemicals can also accumulate inside the pancreas over time from prolonged exposure. Both human and animal studies have shown that PFAS chemicals can actively disrupt both the endocrine and immune systems, putting stress on vital organs like the pancreas.

Studies have also shown long-term exposure to PFAS to be linked to the formation of cancerous cells within the pancreas.

The accumulation of PFAS in the pancreas can generate a condition known as oxidative stress, which limits the body’s ability to fight back against carcinogens and promotes the progression of cancer.

Bladder Cancer

A landmark report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that firefighters showed higher rates of certain types of cancer, including urinary or bladder cancer, when compared to the general U.S. population.

In a study that examined PFAS-contaminated water in certain communities, researchers detected an increased risk of bladder cancer in both males and females, further solidifying the connection between PFAS and bladder cancer.

If you or someone you know has been exposed to PFAS and has developed bladder cancer, it’s important to seek legal assistance as quickly as possible. Contact Sokolove Law today for a free legal consultation to learn if you may be eligible for financial compensation.

Leukemia

One of the groups of people that may be most affected by PFAS-related cancer — firefighters — have also been shown to have increased rates of leukemia.

According to the CDC, the more fires that an individual firefighter helps extinguish, the higher their exposure to harmful carcinogens, including PFAS. As a result, firefighters are at a greater risk of developing leukemia when compared to the general population.

Hold Foam Manufacturers Accountable

If you or a loved one were exposed to firefighting foam and later developed cancer, you may be entitled to compensation through a firefighting foam lawsuit.

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Lymphoma

According to a growing body of research, blood levels with higher concentrations of PFAS may be associated with several different types of cancers, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a devastating disease that attacks the body’s immune system.

One such study, which examined 70,000 people living in close proximity to a chemical plant that produced certain PFAS, found a higher incidence rate of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Prostate Cancer

Firefighters are exposed to a number of carcinogens on the job, putting them at an elevated risk for developing certain types of cancer. In a recent report on firefighter health risks, the CDC identified a significant correlation between firefighters under 65 years old and the development of both bladder and prostate cancers.

Additional evidence suggests that blood containing elevated levels of PFOA — a type of PFAS chemical — is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer and higher overall prostate cancer mortality levels. The development of prostate cancer is one of the reasons why firefighters continue to file PFAS lawsuits against the manufacturers of firefighting foam.

Liver Cancer

In a 13-year-long toxicological study involving 120 workers who were exposed to PFAS, researchers found evidence to suggest the development of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer is associated with higher concentrations of PFAS in the blood.

Additional studies have found that PFAS can cause damage to the overall immune system, including the liver, which plays a vital role in processing and filtering out harmful chemicals that enter the body.

If you or a loved one have developed liver cancer after being exposed to PFAS, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To learn more about your eligibility, contact Sokolove Law for a free legal consultation.

Breast Cancer

The most common cancer among women in the western world, breast cancer, has long been associated with exposure to toxins and pollutants, including PFAS. Such chemicals may cause a disturbance in hormone levels, which weaken the body’s ability to fight pathogens, contributing to the development of breast cancer.

Colorectal Cancer

A statistically significant link between exposure to PFAS and the diagnosis of colorectal cancer was recently identified in a large, comprehensive study. While more research is being conducted to further determine the extent of the connection, initial findings do support a likely correlation between PFAS and the development of colorectal cancer.

Thyroid Cancer

Known as endocrine disruptive chemicals, or EDCs for short, certain carcinogens such as PFAS have long been associated with an increased risk of several different types of firefighting foam cancers, including thyroid cancer. These EDCs can alter the thyroid’s ability to function properly, leading to hormonal disruption.

PFAS can also suppress the immune system, limiting the body’s natural ability to fight back against carcinogens.

PFAS Firefighting Foam Litigation

Due to frequent exposure to PFAS-containing firefighter foam, firefighters may be at the highest risk of developing firefighting foam cancer. More specifically, firefighters who were stationed at airports or who served in the U.S. military may be at a higher risk of developing certain types of PFAS-related cancer.

By filing a lawsuit, firefighters who have developed firefighting foam cancer as a result of being exposed to PFAS chemicals may be able to receive compensation to help pay for medical bills, personal expenses, and much more.

In order to pursue a PFAS lawsuit against the manufacturers of firefighting foam, a victim must have been exposed to PFAS-containing firefighting foam and diagnosed with pancreatic, kidney, testicular, thyroid, bladder, breast, colon, liver, or prostate cancer, or leukemia or lymphoma.

To learn more, including whether or not you may be eligible to file a firefighting foam lawsuit, contact our team today:

Once we hear from you, our team of qualified case managers will determine whether or not you may be eligible for compensation. For those who qualify, we will begin working on your case right away.

Get Help Filing a PFAS Lawsuit

If you or someone you love has developed cancer, and you believe PFAS may have been the cause, it’s important to seek legal assistance as quickly as possible. Due to state laws known as statutes of limitations, firefighting foam victims only have a limited amount of time to file a PFAS lawsuit.

For more than 40 years, Sokolove Law has answered the call of thousands of victims who have been injured or developed a disease through no fault of their own. Our firm was founded on the principle of standing up for and lending a voice to individual Americans who have been taken advantage of by reckless corporations and their never-ending pursuit of profits.

Our legal team’s goal is to maximize the value of any legal claim you may file — and to provide knowledge, guidance, and assurance along the way — so that you can focus on the things that matter most: your health and your family.

Sokolove Law works on a contingency-fee basis, which means there are no upfront costs for our firm to represent you. We only get paid if your case succeeds in securing compensation.

To learn more, contact our legal team today.

PFAS & Cancer FAQs

Does AFFF contain PFAS?

Yes, certain kinds of AFFF do contain PFAS. Though the use of PFAS in AFFF is slowly being phased out, it’s still used in many parts of the U.S. and around the world. That said, PFAS-containing AFFF is no longer manufactured in the United States.

Can PFAS cause cancer?

Regular or prolonged exposure to PFAS is associated with a higher risk of developing a variety of firefighting foam cancers. Dozens of scientific studies have shown an association between PFAS in the blood serum and the development of:

  • Renal or kidney cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Prostate cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer (colon and/or rectal cancer)
  • Thyroid cancer

Who is most at risk of developing cancer from PFAS?

The people most likely to be at risk of developing cancer from PFAS are firefighters and other individuals who regularly use or handle products containing PFAS. Military and airport firefighters, who are more likely to have higher concentrations of PFAS in their blood, may be at especially high risk.

This is likely due to consistent exposure to PFAS while extinguishing the high-intensity jet fuel and petroleum-based fires found at airports, military bases and similar facilities. For decades, the federal government required airports to use PFAS-containing firefighting foam.

Author:Sokolove Law Team
Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: October 22, 2021

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