A vast number of researchers have looked into the link between blood levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and adverse health effects in humans. However, not all of these investigations used the same persons, exposure conditions, or PFAS.
One of the main usages of PFAS is in Firefighter’s foam that is used to extinguish fire. It is also present in their gears or the suits they wear on duty. Firefighters use a special type of chemical based use to extinguish the fire. This is in the form of foam that acts as a suffocate on fire. Water is heavier than most of the fuels making it inefficient to stop various types of fire.
PFAS exposure in everyday life makes them extremely dangerous. Toxicological studies have shown us that Humans exposed to PFAS chemicals had adverse effects on their health
Through extensive research it is established that PFAS chemicals have quite harmful affects and can even lead to mortalities. Evidence
suggests a direct connection between the presence of these chemicals and cancer diagnoses. Infact, Firefighters are 70 percent more prone to having cancer then the average population.
Increased risk of Infertility
Severe allergic reactions
Severe allergic reactions
In 2017, DuPont and Chemours agreed to pay 607.7 million dollars to settle 3,550 injury lawsuits stemming from PFOA environmental pollution for the Washington Works Plant in West Virginia. In March 2020, an Ohio jury said DuPont had to pay 50 million dollars to Travis Abbot, a man said contaminated drinking water from these chemicals led him to testicular cancer, according to Bloomberg.
The personal protective equipment used by US firefighters, their ‘turn out’, is manufactured from fluoropolymer which is a form of PFAS. These chemicals used in firefighting gears impart to resistance against oil, water and fire. Turnout gear are complex, multilayer garments designated for performance under extreme thermal conditions. The PFAS include
fluoropolymer material such as PFTE(Polytetrafluoroethylene) which are used as moisture barrier in the inner layers of turn out gear.
Usually, a cloth thermal liner surrounds the PFTE layer. Also, there is always an outer side of both jacket and pants that contains extra PFAS in the shape of fluoropolymers built into the fabric or additional PFAS treatments applied after fabric is woven. PFAS is absorbed into the body’s skin through sweat and while these firefighting gears have thermal liner typically, PFAS particles can still break into the skin from the outer shell and moisture barrier. Thus, exposing the firefighters greatly to these harmful chemicals.
Firefighting foam also called as AFFF (Aqueous film forcing foam) is lighter and act as blanket to cut off the fire from the oxygen and smothers the fire. But this AFFF has been reported to contain PFAS chemicals which makes them affective against the fires. But these chemicals have hazardous affects on health which are very serious. AFFF exposes the firefighters most as they are on the first line. The blood test of firefighters
shown to have high concentration of these chemicals.
In recent years there are several high-profile class-action law suits against PFAS manufactures are being filed constantly. These include 3M, DuPont and several others. These are potentially open to any US citizen having a detectable concentration of PFAS in their blood and claim to have harm from PFAS exposure.
However, lead plaintiff in these cases are Firefighters since they are the most affected ones. People can have compensation in the form of medical bills, loss of jobs and non-economic damages.
Unfortunately, many do not know that they have a legal right to restitution or compensation for medical bills or personal damages. Others think they can take on this fight themselves and make costly mistakes. if you or a loved one was exposed, please contact an experienced attorney.
Expenses for hospital stays or doctor’s visits, surgeries, medical devices, and medication.