4 Signs You Might Qualify for an AFFF Lawsuit: A Quick Guide for Veterans

For many veterans, military service extends far beyond the years spent on active duty. The dedication and sacrifice made in defense of our nation can leave a lasting physical impact.

Once a mainstay fire suppressant at military installations across the nation, Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) now faces growing concerns regarding the potential health risks posed by its chemical components.

Veterans who served at locations where AFFF was used are now facing certain serious health challenges. They may be eligible for compensation through ongoing legal action.

Through this blog post, we will explore four key indicators that you might qualify for an AFFF lawsuit, empowering you to seek the support you deserve.

What is PFAS?

Perfluorinated alkyl substances, or PFAS for short, are a category of man-made chemicals with unique properties. These chemicals are classified as organic chemicals, meaning they contain carbon atoms as a central building block. Additionally, they possess fluorine atoms throughout their structure.

This combination grants PFAS exceptional resistance to both water and fire. This very characteristic is what makes them a popular choice for firefighting foams like AFFF.

These chemicals are potent carcinogens, having affected millions with terminal illnesses. Let us move on to the first point, which is a prerequisite for you to file a claim against AFFF exposure.

Sign #1: You Served at a Military Base Where AFFF Was Used

Aqueous foam formulations incorporate PFAS chemicals to extinguish flammable liquid fires.

The Department of Defense (DoD) implemented AFFF use across various military installations throughout the United States. Over 700 military sites across the US and its territories have confirmed or suspected PFAS contamination.

Public health concerns regarding potential adverse health effects from PFAS exposure have prompted investigations into military AFFF use practices. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) categorizes PFAS as a lethal contaminant.

Veterans who served at bases that used AFFF should keep in mind the following:

Identify Service Location: Gather military service records to determine the specific locations where you were stationed.

Research Base History: Utilize publicly available resources on AFFF use from the DoD or veteran advocacy groups. These will serve as pieces of evidence of toxic foam use at those locations during your service period.

Maintain Records: Retain all relevant military documents and medical records for future reference.

While the duration of exposure might influence the potential health impact, even brief service at a base with documented AFFF use warrants further investigation.

Consulting with a legal professional to file an AFFF lawsuit. You can receive tailored advice tailored to your individual service history.

Sign #2: You Were Subject to AFFF Exposure

Understanding the potential routes of exposure during your service is crucial. While the degree of exposure can vary significantly based on specific circumstances, veterans who served at these locations should consider the following scenarios:

Exposure Routes: Military personnel faced AFFF exposure through various channels during their service.

  • Firefighting Activities: Veterans who directly participated in firefighting operations involving AFFF would have experienced significant exposure.
  • Training Exercises: Simulated fire scenarios often incorporate AFFF, potentially exposing trainees.
  • Proximity to AFFF Storage: Service members stationed near AFFF storage areas or fire stations equipped with AFFF might have had indirect exposure.
  • Protective Gear: Your protective turnout gear may also be a direct source of PFAS contamination. In most cases, the outer layers are high in toxic concentrations.

The extent and nature of exposure can vary depending on specific circumstances. If you recall any of these scenarios during your service, you should document them for future reference.

Sign #3: You Have a Diagnosed Health Condition

Mounting evidence links PFAS exposure with various health issues. These include immune system disruption, liver damage, and over 15 types of cancer. These health effects can occur when you ingest, inhale, or absorb PFAS over extended periods.

This section explores four key health concerns potentially linked to AFFF exposure.

Cancers: TorHoerman Law indicates a potential connection between PFAS exposure and heightened cancer risks. These cancers include testicular cancer, kidney cancer, and different blood cancers.

Immune System Issues: Exposure to PFAS chemicals might weaken the immune system. This can make you vulnerable to infections and impair the body’s ability to fight off illnesses.

Thyroid Problems: The potential effects of PFAS exposure on the thyroid gland include altered thyroid hormone function. This altered function can lead to a range of chronic health complications. Moreover, alterations in the secretion of thyroid hormone can cause developmental issues in children.

High Cholesterol: Research indicates a potential connection between PFAS exposure and heightened cholesterol levels, which may elevate the likelihood of cardiovascular issues.

Veterans with documented diagnoses of any of these conditions are encouraged to consult a healthcare professional. They will help ascertain causal links to PFAS exposure. Moreover, early diagnosis and treatment are critical for managing health issues effectively.

Sign #4: Your Health Condition Developed After Your Service

The potential health consequences of PFAS exposure can manifest after a significant period following the initial exposure. Understanding the delay is essential when assessing the viability of an AFFF lawsuit.

Time Between Exposure and Symptoms: Studies suggest a possible lag between AFFF exposure and the onset of health problems. This latency period can vary depending on factors like the type and degree of exposure as well as individual susceptibility.

Importance of Medical Records: Documenting health conditions diagnosed after service is essential. These records can be crucial evidence in establishing a potential link to AFFF exposure.

Seeking Professional Guidance: Veterans who served at bases with AFFF use and experience health problems, even years later, should consult with a lawyer specializing in AFFF lawsuits. An attorney can help determine if their case falls within the relevant time frame for legal action.

Seeking Justice and Support

The invisible wounds of war can linger long after service ends. Veterans who have bravely served our nation deserve fair compensation for health problems potentially linked to AFFF exposure. Through this blog post, we aim to empower you with knowledge about the potential signs of AFFF exposure and the legal options available.

Recognizing these indicators is the initial step toward pursuing fairness and obtaining the assistance you merit. Keep in mind that you have a community standing with you throughout this process.

Numerous veteran advocacy groups are dedicated to supporting veterans facing health challenges potentially linked to AFFF. Sharing this information with other veterans who might qualify is an act of solidarity.

By raising awareness about AFFF exposure and its potential health consequences, you can help your fellow veterans explore their options and navigate the legal process.

Together, veterans can seek the justice and support they deserve for the sacrifices made in service to our nation.