Studies Suggest AFFF Causes Testicular Cancer: Is Legal Compensation Available? 

Written By Ahmed Raza
Reviewed By Diary Trend Staff

Firefighter foam, or AFFF, is toxic. Almost every firefighter, Air Force personnel, or military serviceman who has been exposed to this dangerous foam has developed life-threatening diseases.

In January 2024, Veterans of Foreign Wars reported that studies revealed PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) present in AFFF caused testicular cancer both in airmen and firefighters. Researchers in an article published in Environmental Health Perspectives affirmed this finding. 

They claimed that this was one of the first findings to study the PFAS concentrations among service members in the Air Force and testicular cancer. About 98% of U.S. men suffering from testicular cancer have been diagnosed with testicular germ cell tumors. Even military firefighters who have been observed in this study reported increased levels of PFAS, which carried the risk of testicular cancer.

In this article, we will discuss how testicular cancer caused by AFFF exposure affects people and whether there is legal compensation available.

The Tragic Account of Gary Flook

In August 2023, PBS News Hour reported the story of Gary Flook, who was severely affected by AFFF exposure. He worked as a firefighter at the Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois for close to 37 years. He underwent training using AFFF (aqueous film-forming foam), which is both a fire suppressant and a toxic chemical.

That aside, Flook also worked as a volunteer in the local fire department, where he was exposed to this foam as well. He wasn’t aware of the side effects that it could lead to. At 45 years, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and underwent an orchiectomy after a chemotherapy treatment.

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Today, several firefighter foam cancer lawsuits have been filed, including Flook’s claim. The lawsuits have been filed against the foam manufacturers, who were aware of the side effects but decided not to say a word about them.

To date, various studies have established that civilian and military firefighters have suffered from testicular cancer compared to people from any other profession. Even a new federal study highlighted the direct link between PFAS detected in blood samples of several military service members and testicular cancer. However, the medical fraternity still requires more studies to strongly affirm the connection.

Robert Fulforth from Pennsylvania Suffered from AFFF Exposure

Not every person who experienced AFFF exposure and developed testicular cancer has to be a firefighter or airman. The story of Robert Fulforth from Pennsylvania proves this. After residing close to the military bases that witnessed firefighter foam exposure, he claims that this toxic chemical entered his body through drinking water.

Robert and his wife, Lindsay Howard, in their lawsuit named several companies as defendants. A few names are 3M Company, Buckeye Fire Equipment Company, Du Pont de Nemours and Co., and the Chemours Company. Living in Horsham from his birth until he was in his 20s, he consumed the water that was contaminated with PFAS.

At 27 years old, Fulforth was diagnosed with testicular cancer, much to his surprise. As a part of his treatment, he had to undergo surgery that removed his left testicle. But that doesn’t resolve the problem for him. The cancer might return at any moment, and he must stay alert to avert any further complications.

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AFFF Exposure Litigation: Can You Avail a Compensation?

People like Fulforth and Flook have filed their AFFF cancer lawsuits to receive maximum compensation to cover their loss and suffering. Companies like Chemguard, Inc, and Tyco Fire Products have faced several firefighter foam lawsuits from municipalities and individuals nationwide. The allegations mostly state that PFAS has either led to specific injuries or polluted water sources across the nation.

If you have suffered from AFFF exposure and need monetary help to carry on with your treatment and cover other expenses, legal recourse is essential. Contacting a lawyer can help you determine the options you have and the path you need to follow. Your lawyer will decide whether you are eligible to file a lawsuit and the probable settlement payout you can expect. That aside, they will use evidence so that they can obtain maximum compensation for you.

TorHoerman Law states that the evidence can include testicular cancer diagnosis data and medical records. You will also have to submit your employment details and record, as well as the entire history of PFAS exposure. A witness and personal testimony add gravitas to your case. The lawyer will use this evidence to build a strong case so that the verdict is in your favor.

In conclusion, research and studies establish the link between testicular cancer and firefighter foam. But if there are more medical studies that affirm this, it will help firefighters and others claim the compensation they deserve for being exposed to AFFF. If you have been diagnosed with this disease because of exposure to this toxic foam, it is necessary to seek both medical and legal aid.

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Ahmed Raza

Ahmed Raza is a versatile writer featured on Crosall.com and notable sites like TechBullion.com. He excels in crafting insightful content across various sectors, enriching readers with his diverse expertise.