Our firefighting foam lawsuit attorneys are reviewing claims on behalf of firefighters who have been exposed to a toxic firefighting foam.
What Firefighters Should Know About Firefighting Foam
For many years, firefighters relied on aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) in extinguishing fires, especially Class B fires that involve petroleum or other flammable liquids. Even though AFFF is helpful in extinguishing fires of this kind, recent data has revealed that AFF has some serious unintended consequences for firefighters as well as the communities they protect.
Problems Presented by PFAs
Some types of AFFF formulations include per- and poly-fluroalkyl substances, which are a class of chemicals that were extensively used in various ways beyond foam for firefighting. AFF was also used in nonstick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics, food package coating, and countless industrial applications.
While AFFF foams have proven to be helpful in extinguishing certain types of fires, it has recently been discovered that AFFF has undesirable consequences. The primary concern over AFFF foams is connected to the negative impact done to the environment as the result of discharging AFFF foam. More specifically, the primary concern involves the toxicity and biodegradability of the material. These issues are of particular concern when solutions reach domestic or natural water systems.
When AFFF foam is routinely used at one spot, hazardous elements from the foam can end up in soil and eventually groundwater. The amount of material from AFF foam that enters groundwater is influenced by the amount and type of AFFF used as well as where it is used and the type of soil as well as other factors. If private wells or public well fields are situated closeby, they could also be negatively impacted by material from AFFF foam.
Current Regulations Addressing AFFF
Safer and equally effective alternatives to AFFF exist and various states are now prohibiting the use of AFFF as well as other hazardous foams. Additionally, the National Defense Authorization Act now requests that all Department of Defense fire departments stop using AFFF and AR-AFFF by 2024. In 2020, Congress requested all federal work safety experts certify that all firefighting gear be free of hazardous material, as well.
At the moment, no regulations exist preventing non-military fire departments from using fluorine-free firefighting foam.
The Foam Exposure Committee has made some suggestions involving what fire departments that have AFFF should (and should not do). One, fire departments should not dump AFFF into dumping locations like landfills or sewers. Two, fire departments should not give away or sell fluorinated AFFF. Third, fire departments should not send AFFF to training sites or academies for use.
A Greater Risk Faced by Firefighters
The Internal Pollutants Elimination Network is an organization fighting to increase public knowledge of the dangers presented by hazardous chemicals to make sure that hazardous materials are no longer created or discarded in a manner that endangers the health of humans and the surrounding environment.
In a 2019 study, the organization revealed that firefighters have a greater than normal risk of exposure to the dangers of AFFF as the result of using foam for fire suppression training and operation, coming into contact with contaminated PPE, handling contaminated equipment with AFFF, managing PFAS foam waste, and occupation of contaminated fire stations. Firefighters face countless hazards while on the job. Forcing firefighters to come into contact with foams containing hazardous substances when alternatives exist constitutes an unacceptable hazard for their health.
Speak With Our Experienced Firefighting Foam Lawsuit Attorneys Today
Our firefighting foam attorneys are available to help you get the compensation you deserve! If you or a loved one has been negatively impacted by any of these products, you should not hesitate to speak with the Long Island product liability lawyers at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP. Call today to schedule your free case evaluation.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900