Firefighter PFAS Exposure Lawsuit

You may be entitled to compensation through a firefighter PFAS exposure lawsuit if you or a loved one suffered injuries resulting from exposure to PFAS forever chemicals while serving as a firefighter, either due to exposure from:

  • The turnout gear
  • Firefighter protective gear
  • Or other firefighter equipment

 

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Firefighters were unknowingly exposed to dangerous forever chemical PFAS in turnout gear and other equipment and the manufacturers should be held accountable for putting our service members at risk.

Find out if you qualify for legal action today.

Use our chatbot below to receive a free, instant online case evaluation right now.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some firefighting gear, including firefighter’s uniforms, have been found to contain a hazardous chemical called PFAS.

Exposure to this chemical has been linked to a number of health risks including cancer.

Some firefighter turnout gear has been found to contain PFAS forever chemicals, which are considered toxic and can cause potentially life-threatening injuries.

Yes. PFAS have been discovered in firefighter equipment including turnout gear, protective gear, AFFF firefighting foams, and other equipment.

PFAS Contamination

Firefighting Foam

Table of Contents

PFAS Found in Protective Gear Issued to Firefighters

Firefighters nationwide have begun efforts to sue against manufacturers and providers responsible for exposing them to PFAS, a dangerous substance that is linked to cancer.

These PFAS chemicals were found in the coats and firefighting foam used frequently on the job.

If you or someone you know has been exposed to PFAS and faced harm, you may be eligible for a PFAS exposure lawsuit.

Read more to learn about what PFAS is and what you can do to begin the litigation process.

What is PFAS?

 

PFAS contamination; toxic chemical; health injury; Perfluoroalkyl; Polyfluoroalkyl; contaminated water supply;

 

PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl/polyfluoroalkyl substances, are long-lasting chemicals that can be found in low levels within humans and animals.

When overexposed, however, PFAS can have deadly effects.

Much is still yet to be discovered by researchers regarding the nature of PFAS, but what we do know is that these chemicals can be exceedingly dangerous in excess and in the wrong circumstances.

PFAS exposure has a history of litigation, as cases like Malone v. Stanley Black & Decker Inc. have brought to light companies that have knowingly released products that contain potentially deadly amounts of PFAS.

Another instance of corporate deceit occurred in the lawsuit against DuPont and 3M, among others, for lying about dangerous products as well.

This new firefighter litigation is another addition to the growing list of lawsuits against PFAS exposure vying for the justice of the victims.

Why is PFAS Dangerous?

PFAS chemicals have been listened as hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but why, and how does this apply to you?

Harvard and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research shows that there are more than 4,000 different kinds of PFAS chemicals, and while not all are dangerous, many can cause severe disease such as cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, and increased risk of asthma and thyroid disease.

The biggest reason as to why they are dangerous lies in how long they last – being nicknamed “forever chemicals,” PFASs can take years or even decades to break down in the bloodstream, so being overexposed to them can overload the body and cause it to shut down.

PFAS overexposure is a serious and life-threatening situation that should be acted upon immediately.

If you know the source of the PFAS chemicals, confiscate them and seek medical help.

Firefighters File Lawsuit for PFAS Exposure in Protective Gear

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Litigation for PFAS exposure first arose in 2020 when hundreds of firefighters contracted cancer and other diseases after being exposed from the firefighting foam they use.

This aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) class action lawsuit is still ongoing against the manufacturers of the foam and the providers who supply fire departments with this substance.

PFAS Exposure in Protective Gear

Recently, firefighters nationwide have sued for a new source of PFAS exposure:

Protective gear.

The gear they frequently use has been the cause of significant bodily harm and disease.

PFAS in Firefighting Foam

PFAS contaminants and variations of the forever chemical have been found in firefighting foam.

Individuals who have been exposed to these chemicals from AFF's may qualify to participate in the PFAS firefighter foam exposure lawsuit.

Turnout Gear Containing PFAS

Lawsuits against 27 companies that have lied about the harmful PFAS levels in their products have also branched out to turnout gear, which is the protective clothing that firefighters wear on the job.

Being several layers and weighing approximately 45 pounds, turnout gear, or bunker gear, is essential for firefighters.

The thermal liner, the lowermost layer of the turnout gear, has been found to contain high levels of PFAS as they age, which in turn is incredibly hazardous for the wearer when it gets absorbed through the skin.

This bodes poorly for the firefighter, as many can work 10-12 hour shifts wearing gear that can be almost as dangerous as the fires they’re in.

Research of PFAS Firefighter Exposure Injuries

Research on PFAS have been inconsistent, and much still is not known about the effects of various forms of it.

However, research does consistently show an array of potential injuries stemming from overexposure.

If you or someone you know has suffered any of these injuries after being around products with high PFAS levels, you may be eligible for a lawsuit.

Cancer

The National Cancer Institute has performed extensive research regarding the risks of cancer after being exposed to PFAS.

These investigations have unveiled that PFAS can cause kidney, lymphatic, and thyroid cancer.

Infertility and Sterility

Rigorous studies show that PFAS exposure can cause both fertility in women and sterility in men.

This may be caused by disruptions in the endocrine system, which in turn effects the reproductive system.

PFAS exposure can also cause decreases in testosterone levels.

Skin exposure similar to ingestion

Recent research has found that PFAS exposure through the skin can be equally as harmful as ingestion.

These experiments, performed on rats by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), exposed the rats to PFAS through the skin for 4 days and found reduced antibodies and intense sickness.

Liver Damage

In addition to various forms of cancer, PFAS exposure can also cause liver disease.

This can take the form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NFLD) in which the buildup of enzymes in the liver cause it to grow and damage the body.

It can cause harmful symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Red palms
  • Jaundice (yellowing skin and eyes)

Firefighter PFAS Exposure Injuries & Risks

Knowing about the potential repercussions of being exposed to PFAS can help educate you on what to look for.

If you have suffered from any of these, you may be eligible to sue.

Kidney Cancer

As with many forms of cancer, kidney cancer is difficult to detect at first. Early symptoms can include:

  • Bloody urine
  • Lower back pain on one side
  • A mass on the side or lower back
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Appetite loss
  • Fever
  • Anemia

If you experience any of these symptoms, consult a medical professional right away.

These symptoms can also relate to many other diseases relating to the kidneys and urinary tract, so get evaluated by a doctor before proceeding.

Lymphatic Cancer

Lymphatic cancer, or lymphoma, is cancer of the lymphatic system, which is responsible for immunity and fighting germs.

The primary parts of the lymphatic system are the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus gland, and bone marrow.

Lymphoma can affect all areas of the system and be potentially fatal if untreated.

Early symptoms include:

  • Swelling of the lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Weight loss
  • Itchy skin

Thyroid Cancer

The thyroid is a regulatory gland that affects heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and weight.

Early on, thyroid cancer is notoriously difficult to find, and no symptoms may show at first.

However, as it grows, pain and swelling in the neck may occur.

Increased Cholesterol

While high cholesterol has no identifiable symptoms, it can have numerous adverse health effects and increase your risk of several cardiovascular diseases.

In the worst cases, it can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Be sure to consult a doctor and ask about cholesterol if you’ve been exposed to high amounts of PFAS.

How to Report PFAS Contamination in Turnout Gear

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If you believe you’ve been exposed to PFAS in dangerously high quantities, you are not alone, and there are a few agencies you should contact and report the incident to.

Reporting your exposure to these organizations will help you get the aid you need and help them gather more evidence and knowledge about PFAS to help all who have been affected by them:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency is currently conducting research and experiments on PFAS to learn more about it, and they would appreciate any information you could provide them.
  • The CDC is similarly in need of information about exposure to further our collective knowledge on the subject.
  • The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH) also is an agency you can report your exposure to and benefit the public through your experience.

What to Do If Exposed to PFAS from Firefighting

If you’ve been exposed to high levels of PFAS, you need to act fast and carefully.

This is a serious issue, and addressing it immediately is of utmost importance.

Here are some of the first steps you should take if you’re in danger:

Seek Medical Treatment & Mitigate Injuries

Find a trusted doctor right away and get evaluated.

Doing so as soon as possible will mitigate your injuries and ensure that you aren’t liable for anything after the exposure.

It’s also paramount that you get checked for the possible consequences of exposure, such as cancer, liver damage, high cholesterol, and more.

Contact PFAS Injury Lawyer

Next, you should contact a personal injury lawyer right away.

Our lawyers at TorHoerman Law will help you through the legal steps that you will learn in this article.

Having a proper lawyer to represent you in court is essential to serving justice, and at TorHoerman Law, you can’t do better.

Filing a Firefighter PFAS Exposure Lawsuit

When filing your firefighter PFAS exposure lawsuit, there are some steps you should take to prepare yourself.

First, get familiar with the civil litigation steps.

Gathering Evidence

 

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Collecting relevant evidence to support your claim is also vital and will greatly help your lawyer strengthen your case.

Examples include any documentation of injuries sustained and proof of exposure to PFAS through foam, turnout gear, or other confirmed sources.

Do I Qualify for Legal Action?

If you’ve used firefighting foam or been in contact with thermal liners in turnout gear that is high in PFAS, you may be eligible to take legal action against the companies responsible.

We will guide you through every necessary step in the legal process, so contact us for an experienced toxic tort lawyer that will fight for you.

Damages in a Firefighter PFAS Exposure Lawsuit

 

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Once you gather evidence, your PFAS exposure lawyer will assess damages incurred from the exposure.

There will possibly be compensatory and punitive damages, so being properly prepared is key.

Your compensation will be based on the damages incurred, and we will ensure you get what you deserve to the fullest extent of the law.

TORHOERMAN LAW, FIREFIGHTER PFAS EXPOSURE LAWYERS

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At TorHoerman Law, our PFAS exposure lawyers will fight for you and represent you every step of the way.

Our experienced and skilled lawyers have brought justice worth millions and will aid you with the utmost ability.

We will ensure you get the compensation you deserve and help you through these distressing times. 

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Budryk, Z. (2022, February 17). Firefighters Sue over ‘forever chemicals’ in gear. TheHill. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/594771-firefighters-sue-over-forever-chemicals-in-gear?rl=1

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, June 30). Learn about pfas. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/index.html

Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.). Increasing Our Understanding of the Health Risks from PFAS and How to Address Them. EPA. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://www.epa.gov/pfas/pfas-explained

Hersher, R. (2019, April 22). Scientists dig into hard questions about the fluorinated pollutants known as pfas. NPR. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/04/22/708863848/scientists-dig-into-hard-questions-about-the-fluorinated-pollutants-known-as-pfa

MR;, M. (n.d.). Environmental perfluoroalkyl acid exposures are associated with liver disease characterized by apoptosis and altered serum adipocytokines. Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12438481/

Ochavillo, V. (2022, February 16). Firefighters Sue Equipment Makers Over ‘Forever Chemicals’ in gear. WBUR News. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://www.wbur.org/news/2022/02/16/firefighters-sue-equipment-makers-forever-chemicals-pfas

Pfas exposure and risk of cancer. National Cancer Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://dceg.cancer.gov/research/what-we-study/pfas

Study: Pfas exposure through skin causes harm similar to ingestion. Environmental Working Group. (2022, February 16). Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news/study-pfas-exposure-through-skin-causes-harm-similar-ingestion

Tarapore, P., & Ouyang, B. (2021, April 5). Perfluoroalkyl chemicals and male reproductive health: Do PFOA and PFOS increase risk for male infertility? International journal of environmental research and public health. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8038605/ – :~:text=The%20current%20epidemiological%20studies%20linking,monotonic%20dose%20responses%2C%20are%20noted

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/pfc/index.cfm

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