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Lung Cancer Due to Toxic Exposure on Military Bases

At military installations, PFAS are the primary active ingredient in aqueous film-forming foam that is effective in extinguishing hydrocarbon flammable liquid fires, also called Class B fires. Since the 1970s, military members have used the PFAS-containing foams at installations and sites throughout the country without using personal protection.

Fluoroalkyls can easily penetrate the ground and solid concrete airport aprons. Direct discharge into the ground, rivers, and the ocean has far-reaching effects including the food chain where bioaccumulation exacerbates human health risks. More recent exposures could result from former firefighting training areas where PFAS residues had been reconstituted.

Dubbed "forever chemicals" because they linger in the environment and in the human body, these chemicals are considered a public health issue. Their adverse health effects have been shown to affect hormones and other aspects of the endocrine system and act similar to known cancer-causing chemicals.

A recent review from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines a host of health effects associated with PFAS exposure, including lung cancer. If you are suffering from lung cancer due to PFAS exposure, our legal experts can file a claim on your behalf, whether you are a veteran or a family member of one.

PFAS Chemicals Linked to an Increased Risk of Lung Cancer

While there has been scant research on the association between exposures to PFAS and lung cancer in the human population, most of the research has been on animal populations.

However, lung tissues accumulate the highest concentration of PFAS after exposure, and yet little research has been done regarding lung function and outcomes with PFAS exposure. The most well-studied PFAS compounds - PFOA and PFOS exhibit up to five key carcinogenic characteristics:

  • Induce oxidative stress
  • Induce immunosuppression
  • Induce chronic inflammation
  • Alter DNA repair or causes genomic instability
  • Alter cellular proliferation

Animal studies have found that PFAS can cause pulmonary toxicity or lung toxicity. The latter often presents as inflammation, which prevents the lungs from absorbing oxygen which reduces the efficiency of your breathing. Both of these result in uncomfortable symptoms, including rapid, labored breathing, chest discomfort, and weakness.

Treatment for lung damage is primarily aimed to relieve symptoms and reduce complications. Damage to the lungs that resolvesreturns to normal after time or after the cause has been removedis called acute lung toxicity and damage that is permanent is called chronic pulmonary toxicity.

Recover Compensation if You Meet the Eligibility Requirements

If you were stationed on one of the military sites below, you were inevitably exposed to PFAS, which increases your risk of developing lung cancer:

If you have been exposed to PFAS-based foam as a firefighter or airport worker and been diagnosed with lung cancer, you are entitled to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. If your loved one developed lung cancer and died after exposure to PFAS-based firefighting foam, you may be eligible to file a claim as well.

Active U.S. military or retired service members may file a claim for disability compensation for their health problems associated with PFAS. The department decides these claims on a case-by-case basis, examining if the claims satisfy the elements of service connection. These elements must include:

  • The medical evidence of a current disability
  • Proof that your diagnosed disability is connected to in-service exposure to PFAS
  • Dose and frequency of exposure to PFAS chemicals
  • Medical nexus between the current condition and the in-service PFAS exposure

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