Do Volunteer Firefighters Qualify for AFFF Lawsuits? Exposure During Training is Still Exposure

Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) – also referred to as firefighting foam – is used at most firefighting training facilities throughout the nation. AFFF contains concentrated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of chemicals used to resist intense heat, which are known as forever chemicals because they can take many decades to break down.

PFAS are very closely linked to elevated cancer risk, and firefighters, including volunteer firefighters, are often affected. If you’re a volunteer firefighter who was exposed to AFFF or who may have been exposed during training and are now battling cancer, don’t wait to reach out for the legal guidance of a skilled AFFF cancer lawsuit attorney. Many individuals will likely receive compensation with as little as one single exposure to AFFF products – even during a training or educational scenario.

Use of AFFF

AFFF has been used in the United States for decades to help put out fires that are difficult to suppress. While AFFF is exceptionally effective at accomplishing this important task, it comes with serious unintended health consequences for those who come in contact with it and even for the communities in which it’s used.

Firefighters and volunteer firefighters are especially vulnerable, and you may not even know you’ve been exposed. Even if your active service as a firefighter hasn’t involved the use of AFFF foam, there is a very good chance it was used during your training, and even small amounts of direct exposure can lead to serious health concerns.

Health Concerns

Occupational Medicine shares that firefighters are at greater risk of dying from cancer, and the primary issue is exposure to the carcinogenic chemicals in AFFF. In fact, firefighters – as a group – are 60 percent more likely to die of cancer. If you’re a volunteer firefighter who is facing cancer, there is an all too real chance that it’s connected to AFFF exposure, and working closely with a skilled AFFF cancer attorney is advised.  

The cancers that are most closely associated with AFFF include all the following:

  • testicular cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • thyroid disease
  • ulcerative colitis
  • preeclampsia
  • pancreatic cancer
  • bladder cancer
  • prostate cancer

The CDC Weighs In

The CDC – through its National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) – launched its online enrollment system for the National Firefighter Registry for Cancer in April of this year. This move speaks to the government’s understanding of elevated cancer risks in the fire services, and cements a factual connection between AFFF and the cancer risk that firefighters face.

If You’re Not Sure about Exposure

If you are a current or former volunteer firefighter who has been diagnosed with cancer, but aren’t sure about your status in terms of AFFF exposure, you shouldn’t let this discourage you from seeking the legal help you need. The fact is that even very limited exposure can lead to life-altering consequences, and as a volunteer firefighter, you were almost certainly exposed to AFFF during training at your local training facility.

Your Legal Rights

If your cancer is linked to AFFF exposure during your service as a volunteer firefighter, you can seek compensation for your physical, financial, and emotional losses – or legal damages – in an AFFF lawsuit. Obtaining compensation that covers your complete range of losses is the surest way to ensure your most complete recovery, and the best way to safeguard your health and well-being overall.

Legal damages generally break down into several basic categories – each of which should be carefully outlined in your case. These include:

  • Your medical expenses, which – in the face of cancer – are likely to be both extensive and ongoing
  • Your lost earnings, which can include losses related to earning potential
  • Your physical and emotional pain and suffering, which can take a terrible toll on your quality of life

Too many volunteer firefighters believe that the risks of AFFF exposure don’t apply to them because they’re not sure if they worked with the foam or because they haven’t worked with it as much as other firefighters may have. The bottom line is that any exposure is dangerous exposure, and as a volunteer firefighter, there is little chance that you’ve escaped all contact with AFFF – discuss your legal options with a AFFF cancer lawsuit attorney today.

An AFFF Cancer Lawsuit Lawyer Can Help

The AFFF cancer lawsuit attorneys at Keefe Law Firm appreciate the risk volunteer firefighters face in service to their communities, including exposure to AFFF, and we’re committed to fiercely advocating for the compensation to which you’re entitled in the face of a cancer diagnosis. For more information about what we can do to help you, call us at 888-416-0685 today.