PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are found at high levels in a firefighting foam called aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) used by the military for training exercises and to extinguish liquid and gas fires, which has seeped into groundwater and ultimately affects our drinking water.
The use of firefighting foam that contains these dangerous chemical compounds could have serious health consequences for civilian firefighters, military personnel in all service branches, and those living in close proximity to a military base that used the product.
The Department of Defense (DOD) has used PFAS-based firefighting foam since its development in 1963, for maintenance, testing, and training. As a result, these chemicals saturated the soil at hundreds of sites across the US, including military installations where thousands of service members and their families lived and worked.
While PFASs are the primary source of pollution at military installations, there are numerous other hazardous substances polluting these sites, including:
Military personnel and their family members who were stationed at military bases were unavoidably exposed to these toxic chemicals that can lead to the development of serious diseases over time, including prostate cancer.
The term “exposure” refers to contact with contaminants in the air, water, or food that may occur through inhalation, ingestion, or dermal absorption. In our case, it refers to water resources that contain contaminants from activities on the land surface, such as releases or spills from stored industrial wastes, and historical firefighting activities.
There is strong medical research showing that the toxic chemicals in the water at dozen U.S. military installations can lead to health risks including obesity, reproductive problems, and cancers. Prolonged exposure to benzene, toluene, xylene, and styrene, chemicals that are present on military bases, may influence the development or progression of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer—one of the most common cancers among men—usually only causes symptoms when it has grown large enough to disturb the bladder or press on the tube that drains urine. These symptoms include pain when passing urine, a slow flow of urine, trouble to start or stopping the flow, passing urine more often, especially at night.
Former US Navy corpsman Jerry L. was stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune for five months in 1986, long enough for him to notice something wasn’t right with the tap water. “It smelled and tasted like bleach.”
Jerry says he suffers from adverse effects stemming from exposure to Camp Lejeune’s drinking water contaminated with compounds such as industrial solvents and benzene. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs acknowledges a possible exposure period spanning from August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987, that potentially affects as many as one million people.
Jerry deals with pain in the lower pelvic area, frequent urge to urinate, loss of appetite, and loss of weight, connected to the five months he spent at Camp Lejeune in 1984.
For veterans suffering from diseases not entitled to a rebuttable presumption of service connection, such as prostate cancer, clear argument and evidence will be required to win a VA disability compensation claim.
If you are a veteran whose health was damaged by toxic exposure at a military base, please contact Atraxia Law, as we have the necessary resources to help you recover the maximum financial compensation you are entitled to.
Similarly, if you are the family member of a veteran who was stationed at a contaminated military base and came to struggle with prostate cancer as a result of toxic exposure, our team of experts will provide you with quality legal assistance and eventually obtain the money you deserve for your injury from the liable party.
However, it is important to know that, in order to qualify for compensation, you’ll need documents that must show in-service toxic exposure that could have caused that condition. To get started, or for additional information, please contact our law firm today.
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