Firefighter Foam

Manufacturers 

 

3M Company                  $95.72 Billion
DuPont                            $42.97 Billion
Chemours  $3.49 Billion

 

FDA Approval 

 

N/A

 

 

MDL Information 

 

MDL No. 2873 – District of South Carolina

Background

According to the EPA, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals.
 
PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s. PFOA and PFOS have been the most extensively produced and studied of these chemicals. Both chemicals are very persistent in the environment and in the human body – meaning they don’t break down and they can accumulate over time. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects.
 
PFAS can be found in:
 
•Food packaged in PFAS-containing materials, processed with equipment that used PFAS, or grown in PFAS-contaminated soil or water.
•Commercial household products, including stain- and water-repellent fabrics, nonstick products (e.g., Teflon), polishes, waxes, paints, cleaning products, and fire-fighting foams (a major source of groundwater contamination at airports and military bases where firefighting training occurs).
•Workplace, including production facilities or industries (e.g., chrome plating, electronics manufacturing or oil recovery) that use PFAS.
•Drinking water, typically localized and associated with a specific facility (e.g., manufacturer, landfill, wastewater treatment plant, firefighter training facility).
•Living organisms, including fish, animals and humans, where PFAS have the ability to build up and persist over time.
 
Certain PFAS chemicals are no longer manufactured in the United States as a result of phase outs including the PFOA Stewardship Program in which eight major chemical manufacturers agreed to eliminate the use of PFOA and PFOA-related chemicals in their products and as emissions from their facilities. Although PFOA and PFOS are no longer manufactured in the United States, they are still produced internationally and can be imported into the United States in consumer goods such as carpet, leather and apparel, textiles, paper and packaging, coatings, rubber and plastics.
 
Firefighting foam (AFFF) works by quickly by spreading out over the surface of the fuel, depriving the fire of oxygen, quickly extinguishing even large fires. The foam also prevents the hot fuel from reigniting. So far, only AFFF that contains fluorine chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are capable of putting out dangerous fuel fires fast and keeping them out.
 
There are approximately 1.1 million firefighters in the U.S.

 

Injuries / Complications / Concerns

 
Certain PFAS can accumulate and stay in the human body for long periods of time. Long-term exposure to PFAS/PFOA/PFOS, in high concentrations, causes a buildup in the body. This buildup may have negative health effects like a risk of thyroid disease and testicular, kidney and bladder cancers, as well as neuroendocrine tumors, pancreatic, leukemia, bladder, lymphoma, and prostate cancers.
 
Firefighters, military firefighters and personnel, and airport firefighters and personnel exposed to the firefighting foam (AFFF) are the most affected.

Information on the Topic of Firefighting Foam

 

Basic Information on PFAS

https://www.epa.gov/pfas/basic-information-pfas

 

Toxic Chemicals Used in Take-Out Food Packaging from Popular Food Chains (August 6, 2020)

https://www.vpirg.org/news/packaged-in-pollution/

 

It’s Time to Switch to PFAS-Free Firefighting Foams (4-22-2020)

https://www.ewg.org/news-and-analysis/2020/04/it-s-time-switch-pfas-free-firefighting-foams

 

Class Action Complaint – NRWA vs. 3M Company (2-25-2020)

https://www.napolilaw.com/wp-content/uploads/NRWA-complaint.pdf

 

The Hidden Dangers in Firefighting Foam (2-11-2020)

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/training/coffee_break/021120.html

 

Rainwater in Parts of US Contains High Levels of PFAS Chemical, Says Study

(12-17-2019)

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/17/rainwater-pfas-us-potentially-toxic-levels-study

5 Things to Know About DOD’s Research on ‘Fluorine-Free’ Firefighting Foam

(9-6-2019)

https://www.defense.gov/Explore/News/Article/Article/1953510/5-things-to-know-about-dods-research-on-fluorine-free-firefighting-foam/

 

Documents Show 3M Knew of Dangers of PFAS Chemicals, Activist Group Says

(8-28-2019)

https://www.startribune.com/documents-show-3m-knew-of-dangers-of-pfas-chemicals-activist-group-says/558585852/

 

Former Firefighters Describe How They Used Foam with PFAS Chemicals at Pittsburgh’s Airport for Decades (8-12-2019)

https://www.publicsource.org/former-airport-firefighters-pfas-foam-practices/

 

Cancer-Causing Foam Could be Banned in Military Training Next Year, Off Military Bases Entirely by 2029 (6-4-2019)

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2019/06/04/cancer-causing-foam-could-be-banned-in-military-training-next-year-off-military-bases-entirely-by-2029/

Aqueous Film-Forming Foams (AFFF) Products Liability Litigation – MDL 2873

(1-2-2019)

https://www.scd.uscourts.gov/mdl-2873/orders.asp

 

Glass Half-Full on State Solutions to Chemicals in Water (9-27-2018)

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/environment-and-energy/glass-half-full-on-state-solutions-to-chemicals-in-water-corrected

 

The U.S. Military is Spending Millions to Replace Toxic Firefighting Foam with Toxic Firefighting Foam (2-10-2018)

https://theintercept.com/2018/02/10/firefighting-foam-afff-pfos-pfoa-epa/

 

What are PFASs, the Toxic Chemicals being Found in Drinking Water? (8-12-2016)

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/pfas-toxic-chemical-millions-peoples-drinking-water