Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) has long been a critical tool in firefighting due to its ability to suppress flammable liquid fires effectively. However, recent concerns have arisen regarding the potential health risks of AFFF exposure.
TorHoerman Law notes that AFFF firefighting foam contains PFAS chemicals, which have been associated with the diagnosis of cancer and other adverse health effects. If you find yourself exposed to AFFF foam, either as a firefighter or in different situations, it is essential to take informed action to safeguard your well-being.
In this article, we aim to provide valuable guidance on what you can do if you have encountered AFFF foam, ensuring that you understand the necessary steps to protect yourself and seek appropriate assistance.
Talk to Your Doctor
According to ConsumerNotice.org, since the 1970s, the Department of Defense has used AFFF to combat fuel fires at military installations. Unfortunately, this foam has become a significant cause of PFAS groundwater contamination in nearby communities.
Individuals who directly handle the foam, including former and current civilian or military firefighters, face the potential dangers of prolonged exposure and associated health risks.
If you have been exposed to AFFF foam, you need to talk to your doctor. Your doctor can assess your exposure and recommend any necessary medical tests or treatments. They can also help you understand the risks of PFAS exposure and how to protect yourself.
Here are some of the things your doctor can do for you:
- Assess your exposure: Your doctor can ask you about your work history, your activities in areas where AFFF foam was used, and any symptoms you may be experiencing. They may also order blood tests to measure your levels of PFAS.
- Recommend medical tests or treatment: If your doctor is concerned about your exposure to PFAS, they may recommend additional medical tests or treatment. For example, they may recommend a liver or thyroid function test.
- Help you understand the risks of PFAS exposure: Your doctor can help you understand the potential health risks of PFAS exposure. They can also talk to you about how to reduce your risk of developing health problems.
- Help you protect yourself: Your doctor can help you understand how to protect yourself from further exposure to PFAS. For example, they may recommend that you avoid contact with contaminated areas and wash your clothes after exposure.
Follow the AFFF Decontamination Procedures
According to The Legal Examiner, the effectiveness of foam in firefighting has been well-established, explaining its widespread use. However, recent findings regarding some chemicals used in AFFF have raised questions about its impact on human health.
Numerous firefighters and civilians have come forward, attributing their development of breast cancer, ulcerative colitis, tumors, kidney cancer, testicular cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and other health conditions to their exposure to AFFF.
Following decontamination procedures is crucial if you have been in contact with AFFF foam:
- Rinse the affected areas with lots of water.
- Take off any clothing that may have been contaminated and wash them well before wearing them again.
- If the foam gets into your eyes, flush them with water for at least 15 minutes and get medical help right away.
Removing the foam and minimizing its contact with your body is essential to reduce the potential risks.
Follow Suggested Medical Recommendations
It is essential to follow your doctor’s recommendations after prolonged exposure to AFFF foam. This may include taking medication, making lifestyle changes, or getting regular medical checkups.
It is also essential to be aware of the latest research on the health risks of PFAS exposure. This will help you make informed decisions about your health and treatment.
Here are some of the reasons why it is essential to follow medical recommendations:
- Your doctor knows your situation: Your doctor has the knowledge and experience to assess your exposure to PFAS and recommend the best course of treatment for you.
- Medical recommendations are based on the latest research: The medical community is constantly learning more about the health risks of PFAS exposure. Your doctor will keep up-to-date on the latest research and recommend the best treatment based on this evidence.
- Following medical recommendations can help you stay healthy: By following your doctor’s recommendations, you can reduce your risk of developing health problems. You can also help to manage any symptoms you may be experiencing.
Consider Joining the AFFF Lawsuit
If you believe that your exposure to Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) has caused harm, you may consider joining the AFFF lawsuit. Many individuals who have experienced health issues or environmental contamination due to AFFF exposure have taken legal action against manufacturers and users of the foam.
Lawsuit Information Center notes that the class action MDL (Multi-District Litigation) involving AFFF firefighting foam has seen the addition of 300 more lawsuits in June, resulting in a total of 4,793 claims within the MDL.
Since the beginning of the year, 1,454 new AFFF cases have been included in the MDL. However, it remains challenging to determine the exact breakdown of these cases, specifically distinguishing between personal injury claims and cases related to municipal water contamination.
By joining the lawsuit, you may have the opportunity to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages caused by AFFF exposure. The AFFF lawsuit settlement amounts can vary widely depending on the extent of harm and the strength of the evidence presented.
However, successful plaintiffs may be able to obtain substantial settlements to help alleviate the financial burdens caused by their exposure. Consulting with an attorney experienced in AFFF cases can help you understand your rights, evaluate the potential value of your claim, and navigate the legal process to seek justice and fair compensation.
Stay Informed About the AFFF Exposure
To ensure your safety and well-being, it is essential to stay informed about AFFF foam exposure. Keep yourself updated on the latest information regarding any recalls, safety guidelines, or developments related to AFFF and its potential health effects.
Stay vigilant for any new research or recommendations from reputable sources. By staying informed, you can make informed decisions and take appropriate precautions to minimize your risk of exposure.
If you have been exposed to AFFF foam, it’s essential to make informed choices to protect your health. Taking the steps discussed in the article shows that you care about your well-being and want to handle the situation with confidence.
Remember, your health is the most important thing, so don’t hesitate to seek help and stay informed about the risks. By being proactive, you can ensure you’re doing everything possible to stay safe and healthy.