Approximately 43,720 people receive a diagnosis of thyroid cancer nationwide every year. The disease is nearly 3 times more common in women than in men. Some of the causes of thyroid cancer are a diet low in iodine, radiation exposure, genetics, and being female. However, it can also be the consequence of AFFF exposure in civilian and military firefighters. This is because this firefighting foam contains up to 98% PFAS, a group of highly toxic substances, exposure to which has a significant association with the disease. Exposure to PFOS, one of the most common chemicals from this group, increases the risk of thyroid cancer in firefighters by 56%.
PFAS, also known as "forever chemicals", have a strong ability to interfere with thyroid function. Because they are endocrine disruptors, they can affect the body by mimicking fatty acids. PFAS interfere with the hormone system, making civilian and military firefighters exposed to AFFF more susceptible to developing thyroid disease, which can precede cancer. The longer a firefighter is exposed to this firefighting foam, the higher their risk of developing thyroid cancer is. Furthermore, PFOA, another chemical from this group, was found to inhibit the accumulation of iodine by thyroid follicular cells in vitro, which is a significant risk factor for thyroid cancer.
If you worked as a firefighter, used AFFF, and worry that you might have developed thyroid cancer, these are the symptoms you should look out for and for which you should seek medical attention as soon as possible:
"Forever chemicals" can have multiple detrimental effects on endocrine function, including the thyroid. In laboratory studies, PFAS were found to cause hypertrophy and hyperplasia of thyroid follicular cells in rats, and a strong association with low total and free thyroxine concentrations was found. If these changes occur in the thyroid gland, the risk of developing cancer becomes higher. If you are a civilian or military firefighter who used AFFF on the job and now suffer from thyroid cancer, we encourage you to contact us, as you might be entitled to financial compensation.
With over 35 years of experience in evaluating toxic exposure and personal injury claims, our team of professionals is ready to offer you quality assistance if you are or were a civilian or military firefighter exposed to AFFF who now struggles with thyroid cancer. The process of assessing your case is simple and will mostly take place over the phone, as we understand how physically and emotionally draining having cancer can be. To review your claim, we will only need your military or employment records and your medical records. If we determine that you are entitled to financial compensation, we will promptly direct you to a reliable, trustworthy attorney to have your claim filed.
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