VA Denies Link Between PFAS Foam and Health Issues in Military Fire Fighters
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) June 30, 2021 – According to a study from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, firefighters die from cancer at a rate 14 percent higher than that of the general population. This makes sense, as firefighters are frequently exposed to smoke and other toxins. Now, sick veteran firefighters have discovered another potential cause for their health problems: exposure to aqueous film-forming foam, or AFFF for short, a foam product that has been widely used to extinguish flames for decades by the military. Unfortunately, the VA has denied nearly all of its claims for disability benefits.
AFFF contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, a group of industrial chemicals frequently used to produce water- and oil-repellent substances, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoroctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). PFAS stay in the environment and the human body for long periods and can cause serious health problems.
PFAS levels build up over time and exposure, and they are known as “forever chemicals” for this reason. Nearly everyone has PFAS in their body. Common sources include contaminated water, dust and products like nonstick and stain-resistant coatings on cookware, carpets and clothing. Because PFAS exposure is such a common occurrence, the VA has stated it cannot be sure that there is a service connection between the reported health conditions and AFFF.
“The VA refuses to acknowledge the link between AFFF and health problems, even though this has been suspected for many years,” said James G. Fausone, lead attorney at VA disability law firm Legal Help for Veterans. “This is another Agent Orange scenario, where veterans are wrongfully denied benefits, they need.”
Cancers of the kidneys and prostate, high cholesterol, diabetes, immune disorders, and more have all been linked to the foam and PFAS exposure. However, the VA has not recognized the connection, and the veterans who are now suffering from conditions that they feel are related to AFFF exposure are left without benefits for their conditions and the validation of a presumed link.
Numerous lawsuits have already been filed against companies like 3M and Dupont, which produced the foam and knew there was evidence of adverse health effects connected to exposure. Some allege the U.S. military was also aware of the potential danger and chose not to alert the servicemen and women who were using it. Others who have already been denied by the VA say that the protective gear they wore while fighting fires with AFFF was not sufficient and allowed the foam to get on their skin.
Legal Help for Veterans is a veteran-owned and operated law firm in Northville, Michigan, specializing in VA disability claims. Contact James G. Fausone and the rest of the team by calling 1.800.693.4800.Learn more at http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC 41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101 Northville, MI 48168 Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800