Firefighters on Navy Aircraft Carriers Exposed to Toxic Firefoam

Aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), also known as firefoam, has been used on navy aircraft carriers for decades. While firefoam has been effective at extinguishing major fires, it is also toxic to human health. Contact with this substance has put many Navy firefighters and others at risk of cancer and serious illness.

If you or a loved one served in the Navy and were exposed to AFFF firefighting foam, you may have a damages claim. Rueb Stoller Daniel can review your case and take action to seek compensation for your losses.

Why Firefoam Has Been So Widespread in the Navy

Navy aircraft carriers are large but are still isolated and crowded. If a fire breaks out and is not quickly contained, the loss of life could be catastrophic. Aviation fuels are in abundance on carriers. Aircraft are constantly moving and being refueled, while weapons are loaded in close proximity. All of these elements are the ingredients needed for a potential disaster.

This is where firefighting foam comes in. For decades, it was used in these and other military settings. AFFF foam is particularly useful for extinguishing highly flammable liquid fires that are ignited by fuels and other substances. Water alone is woefully inadequate to suppress these fires, and actually tends to make them much worse.

Why Firefighting Foam Is So Dangerous

It’s been long established that firefoam is effective at putting out fires on Navy aircraft carriers. However, there is a significant downside: exposure to a class of highly toxic chemicals known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances).

PFAS are sometimes called forever chemicals because the body does not have a way of breaking them down. Instead, they accumulate and eventually sicken the individual exposed to them. PFAS are linked to various cancers, immune system damage, and risks to reproductive health.

Will PFAS Firefighting Foam Continue to Be Used?

A recently enacted law requires the Department of Defense to stop buying PFAS-based firefighting foams by October 1, 2023. The Department must stop using PFAS altogether by October 1, 2024. Any suppliers of firefoam must certify that they contain no intentionally added PFAS in their products. Firefoam testing is also required to ensure no PFAS are present.

Despite these changes, many members of the Navy have already been sickened by PFAS. Whether due to exposure on aircraft carriers or in other places, PFAS are commonly associated with:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Thyroid disease (hypo- and hyperthyroidism)
  • Hashimoto’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Bladder cancer
  • Blood cancer (including leukemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma)
  • Breast cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer

What Compensation Can Injured Navy Personnel Seek?

Every case of firefoam exposure is different. If you or a loved one have been sickened by firefighting foam containing PFAS, an experienced attorney can explain your options. You may have the right to seek compensation related to:

  • Cancer treatments
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Other related damages

Rueb Stoller Daniel Is Ready to Go to Work For You

Our law firm is seeking to represent victims of firefoam exposure who are ready to take action. We handle all aspects of litigation, from filing legal paperwork to negotiating settlements and trying cases in court. Have you been made ill after coming in contact with firefighting foam and PFAS? Let Rueb Stoller Daniel fight for you and your family today.