Arnold Air Force Base was established in 1949 to meet the demand for a location for the Air Engineering Development Center. It is located in Middle Tennessee, about halfway between Nashville and Chattanooga. During World War II, the Arnold Air Force Base was known as Camp Forrest, and it was used as an army training camp. William Northern Field, one of Camp Forrest's training grounds, was used to train Army Air Force pilots. Following the war, Camp Forrest was purchased by the newly formed Air Force as the headquarters of the Air Engineering Development Center, which was established to serve as the Air Force's principal jet and rocket development facility. Most air bases, including Arnold Air Force Base, feature a fire training area where firemen fill a pit with water and aviation fuel and then set it on fire to practice extinguishing procedures; this kind of training might need hundreds of liters of synthetic PFAS-containing foams.
In the 1970s, the Department of Defense started deploying a special foam called aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) to suppress petroleum-based fires. The foam proved efficient because it contained a family of man-made chemicals known as PFAS, which function as surfactants, spreading the foam and allowing it to cool and extinguish the fire. These substances, on the other hand, have the potential to cause harmful health effects in humans as well as environmental damage. As a result of growing evidence that these chemicals may be connected to human health risks, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a health alert in 2016 stating that less than 70 parts per trillion of this chemical should be present in drinking water. Because of the widespread usage of this firefighting foam on military installations, the Department of Defense decided to test all of its locations.
Since 1983, a dry track of gravel-filled terrain at Arnold Air Force Base has been out of service. For about two decades, it served as a training ground for Air Force troops who started large fires and trained to put them out. Soil and groundwater contamination below this fire training location was discovered to be 2,500 times greater than the EPA's health advisory level. Two PFAS compounds that are known to be harmful were involved: PFOA and PFOS, the key components in a majority of AFFF.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a family of potentially thousands of synthetic chemicals that are gaining national attention after studies have connected them to health problems, including cancer. It is ubiquitous on military bases around the nation, including Arnold Air Force Base, where it has been detected in high concentrations. Concerns have been raised about the possibility of it spreading further. Because of their strong carbon-fluorine linkages, PFAS are almost indestructible in nature, and specialists predict that they will persist in soil for thousands of years. As a result of their persistence, they have earned the moniker "forever chemicals".
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has shown a relationship between PFAS exposure and damage to the body's natural hormones and immune system, as well as higher cholesterol levels and an increased risk of some cancers. Children are especially vulnerable to PFAS; they might be exposed before birth via the umbilical cord and subsequently as newborns through breast milk.
The following is a list of the medical conditions that may be caused by exposure to PFAS and for which you may be eligible to file a toxic exposure claim:
If you or your loved one has been exposed to PFAS, which abound in AFFF, while serving on active duty, whether it has been a few years or decades, it’s important to see your doctor regularly to make sure you’re in good health. For some people who have already been diagnosed with cancer or lost a loved one to cancer, it’s not too late to seek legal advice.
Our mission is to provide former military personnel and their immediate family members stationed at Arnold Air Force Base with professional and efficient legal services. Therefore, if you or a loved one served at Arnold Air Force Base and suffered a disease that could be linked to PFAS exposure, please contact us for a free consultation. We can take care of every aspect of your claim, from start to finish, while you focus on improving your health. Call Atraxia Law to find out if you are eligible to file a PFAS claim.
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