AFFF Firefighter Cancer Lawsuits

Exposure to aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) used to fight fuel-based fires may be responsible for causing testicular cancer, kidney cancer and other cancers among firefighters, military service members and airport personnel. 

STATUS FIREFIGHTING FOAM LAWSUITS: Product liability lawyers are reviewing individual fire fighter foam cancer lawsuits and potential class action claims for individuals who exposed to AFFF in recent years, seeking financial compensation and settlement benefits for injuries that may have been avoided if warnings and safety recommendations had been provided.

2022 Firefighter Foam Lawsuit Update: In September, a federal judge rejected an effort to have firefighter foam water contamination lawsuits dismissed by 3M, denying the use of a “government contractor defense” argument to avoid liability. Following the rejection of the government contractor defense, the Court will continue with planned bellwether trials, which will be scheduled to help the parties gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that is being repeated throughout the litigation.

In October, a federal judge selected the first case to serve as a bellwether trial, which is scheduled to go before a jury in June 2023.


OVERVIEW: Aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) have been used to fight petroleum-based fires since the 1960s, by both military and civilian firefighting organizations. However, even since they first went into use, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicates that chemicals in the fire suppression foam may increase the risk of cancer, contaminate drinking water supplies, and persist in the environment and human body for years.

A number of studies warn about the link between cancer and firefighting foam, which contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). These “forever chemicals” can bind to proteins in the blood, and accumulate in the body with each exposure to the fire foam, regardless of how small the level.

Studies have linked exposure to PFAS chemicals in AFFF to an increased risk of:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Despite the science indicating a risk to human health and the environment, numerous manufacturers continued to make and sell the foam to fire fighting agencies and the military, knowing they would see widespread use and accumulation in the environment.

While these man-made chemicals were not widely seen in the human body before the commercial development of firefighting foams in the 1960s, some studies have suggested that 99% of all Americans now have PFAS present in their bodies.

For firefighters, military and airport personnel regularly exposed to these chemicals in AFFF foam, the cancer risk may have been avoided if warnings and information had been provided by the manufacturers.

In recent years, growing frustrated with the lack of federal regulations, a number of states have put their own regulations limiting the use of PFAS into place. Additionally, in April 2021, legislation was introduced at the federal level which would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to put in place standards for PFAS chemicals if passed into law.

FAILURE TO WARN FIRE FIGHTING FOAM LAWSUITS: As a result of the failure to thoroughly research film-forming foam or adequately warn about users, the public, and regulatory agencies, financial compensation may be available through a fire fighting foam lawsuit.

If information about the risks of cancer from aqueous film-forming foams had been provided, many firefighting organizations would have likely chosen another fire suppression means, or taken steps to avoid the type of exposure that may lead to the diagnosis of cancer among firefighters and others who come into contact with the chemicals.


  • RICKAugust 26, 2022 at 7:15 am

    i was in navy in 94-96 got sick in 2001 testicular cancer /remove test an 4/ -16 lymn wer cancer ajj this at 28 years old ,life never been the same an chemo an g=blander remove bc of chemo an 3 hernia surguies an 3 failed meshes an lot more that.s not all i have had a rough time an health is not good .that afff is bad new i dont wish this on no one no one.

  • JasonFebruary 6, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    I had testicular cancer in 2016. I am prior USN

  • RobinDecember 12, 2020 at 8:34 am

    So, I guess, this may cause SKIN CANCER TOO ??? RLC...

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