As the most common malignant disease among civilian and military firefighters, prostate cancer is often the result of occupational toxic exposure. Because firefighters regularly use the fire suppressant AFFF, which contains PFAS, a group of toxic and carcinogenic substances, they inevitably experience toxic exposure. Even with protective gear, firefighters can easily inhale PFAS, which gradually accumulate in the bloodstream. Over the years, these harmful chemicals might cause prostate cancer. Prostate cancer accounts for nearly 14% of all cancers in civilian and military firefighters. When severe damage occurs to the DNA cells of the prostate, they fail to perform their normal function and start dividing uncontrollably, forming a tumor.
When it is caused by AFFF exposure, prostate cancer generally takes 15 years to develop from the first contact with PFAS. However, it can occur earlier or later, depending on each individual. A study that tested Kent County, Michigan residents who have been exposed to PFAS found that the rate of prostate cancer was considerably higher in this cohort than in the general population. The results of this study are comparable to the situation of civilian and military firefighters exposed to AFFF, as this fire suppressant can sometimes contain 98% PFAS, making it a hazard to human health. If you worry you might have developed prostate cancer as a firefighter, these are the symptoms for which you should seek medical assistance:
While roughly 50% of PFAS are stored in the blood, liver, and kidneys, the rest can affect any tissue of the body, including the prostate. The majority of men with early prostate cancer do not experience any symptoms, which is why it is essential to keep a close eye on your health if you worked with AFFF as a firefighter. Furthermore, because the rate of misdiagnosis is high in toxic exposure victims, you should seek a second and even a third opinion if you receive a diagnosis. Not only is having a correct diagnosis crucial for your prognosis but also for your claim eligibility.
Atraxia Law has over 35 years of experience in evaluating toxic exposure and personal injury claims, so our team of experts has the necessary resources and knowledge to help you find out if you are eligible to file a claim for AFFF exposure. The only documents we will request are your employment or military records and your medical records. If we determine that you are entitled to compensation, we will direct you toward a reliable attorney to have your claim filed as soon as possible and recover the money you deserve for your unjust suffering.
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