Posted on 27th October, 2020
by Legal Staff
In many military installations, the drinkable water was found to contain levels of PFOA and PFOS in excess of the threshold recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of 70 parts per trillion.
The Environmental Working Group - a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group - identified at least 712 documented cases of PFAS contamination across 49 states, as of July 2019.
Included in this number is the contamination of 401 military installations, some of which contained a PFAS detection level of more than 14 times the health advisory limit set by the EPA.
Scientists are still learning about the health effects of exposure to the fluorosurfactants present in fire-fighting foams. For the most part, laboratory animals exposed to high doses of one or more of these PFAS showed relevant changes in liver function. Because human bodies process these chemicals differently than the bodies of animals, more research will help scientists better understand the effects of PFAS on human health.
PFAS chemicals in the firefighting foam have been linked to a number of serious side effects for firefighters who are the major group of workers at risk of occupational exposure.
Exposure to chemicals such as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) including perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) can increase the risk of a type of liver cancer called angiosarcoma. Moreover, recent studies suggest that babies born to mothers who were exposed to PFAS during pregnancy may have a significantly increased risk of suffering liver damage in childhood.
Perfluoroalkyl-compounds are readily absorbed in animal and human tissues after oral, inhalation, and dermal exposure, and accumulate in the serum, kidney, and liver. Human exposure to PFAS can result in adverse effects on the immune system that persist over long timescales and can increase with additional exposures. The liver is a target organ for PFAS toxicity in high-dose animal toxicity studies, where liver damage is observed. While hepatotoxic reactions do occur, the concern is focused increasingly on chronic liver disease resulting from prolonged low-level toxic exposure. In this regard, cancer is the primary concern.
Currently, laboratories offer PFAS blood testing to individuals through their healthcare providers. If you have been exposed to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances directly, through the use of firefighting foam, or indirectly, from drinking water contaminated from firefighter foam runoff, don't wait too long to seek medical attention.
Military personnel, airport firefighters, and civilian firefighters may be entitled to compensation if they have been diagnosed with liver cancer after toxic firefighting foam exposure. Compensation depends on the circumstances surrounding your case such as level of exposure to PFAS, length of time you have been exposed, medical notes, long-term prognosis and seriousness of your illness, the extent of pain and suffering and if you experienced lost earning capacity caused by any disability that you suffered as a result of exposure to fire-suppressant foams. Give us a call to discuss your legal options.