Veterans, active component service members, and their families who lived at military bases across the country are now facing a high rate of bladder cancer due to continuous or repeated contact with toxic substances.
On military bases, firefighters often use aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) to help extinguish high-hazard, difficult-to-fight Class B fires arising from petroleum products or flammable liquids or gases such as oil, gasoline, and jet fuel.
The foam was extremely prevalent in past years but is starting to become phased out because of its concentration of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and their carcinogenic classification and potential.
For too long, the government has failed to hold the companies responsible for pollution with PFAS chemicals accountable. Meanwhile, these toxic chemicals are rapidly leaching off of airports and military installations into the underneath soil layers and the groundwater, and the root cause of this chemical contamination is the lack of federal guidance.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are used in military and firefighting foam and are known as “forever chemicals” because of the fact they never break down. They have been linked to cancer, kidney disease, thyroid conditions, and auto-immune disorders.
Exposure to elevated levels of PFAS chemicals may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer incidence and mortality, according to evidence from community-based studies.
Unfortunately, the PFASs stemming from the use of AFFF are not the only toxic substances polluting military bases. There are other hazardous substances that were found by the Environmental Protection Agency, including the following:
PFAS exposure can lead to changes in bladder tissue cells, which can ultimately prompt the development of bladder cancer.
Bladder cancer is the most common malignancy involving the urinary system in America. It occurs when cells making up the bladder begin to grow and spread in an uncontrolled way, leading to the formation of a malignant tumor.
Most cases of bladder cancer appear to be caused by exposure to carcinogenic chemicals or radiation, which lead to abnormal changes in the bladder's cells over many years.
Bladder cancer is one of the presumptive conditions for Camp Lejeune veterans. If you have a record of service at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, served there for a total of at least 30 days—consecutive or non-consecutive—during that period, and subsequently developed bladder cancer, you can file a disability compensation claim with the help of our case managers.
Unfortunately, the toxic environment at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is not an isolated incident; according to multiple veteran service organizations, toxic experts, veterans, and the Department of Defense itself, thousands of service members and their families have been exposed to a variety of toxins on U.S. military bases.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has established a presumptive service connection for veterans exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and who later developed bladder cancer.
This means the VA does not require veterans to prove the contaminated water caused or aggravated their illness. Instead, veterans must prove the following criteria:
If you have a current diagnosis of bladder cancer that you believe could be related to toxic substances on a military base, our team of experts is here to help you understand what your legal options are. You could be entitled to financial compensation for mounting medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
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