Over the years, there have been several lawsuits filed against manufacturers of Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) due to its harmful effects on humans and the environment. This foam is an effective firefighting substance used to extinguish flammable liquid hazards.
Although AFFF works well as a firefighting substance, it contains chemicals known as PFAS (per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers these chemicals dangerous because they do not degrade, disappear, or dilute, earning the nickname “forever chemicals.” Instead, they create health hazards as they spread through the soil and groundwater.
New studies highlight a potential link between PFAS exposure and an increased risk of specific cancers in women. According to researchers at the University of Michigan, women with uterine cancer, melanoma, and ovarian cancer may have elevated levels of PFAS in their blood.
This article aims to explore the link between PFAS exposure and cancer in women so that affected individuals can file legal complaints and seek compensation for their damages.
Cancer Risk Linked to PFAS Exposure
Today, manufacturers like 3M Company, DuPont, and others must address the AFFF lawsuits filed against them for the health hazards witnessed by victims. There have been allegations that these manufacturers were aware of the potential ailments linked to the chemicals but failed to inform people about them same.
Many women have developed cancer due to this negligence. For example, Richelle Boyle from South Carolina suffered from kidney cancer as a result of contaminated water in New Jersey. The water supply was polluted with the forever chemicals used in AFFF. In her AFFF lawsuit, Boyle states that she had to undergo a partial nephrectomy as a treatment for her condition.
Speaking of health hazards linked to PFAS exposure, a study in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology shares interesting insights. Several chemicals, including PFAS, disrupt the endocrine system, which regulates the body’s hormones.
Researchers examined the blood concentration of nearly seven different PFAS chemicals and twelve parabens and phenols. Afterward, they compared it with self-reported cancer diagnoses using information sourced from NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey). They also checked for occurrences of prostate, thyroid, uterus, ovary, or breast cancer. The data included incidence rates for both women and men.
Additionally, the data suggests that the link between PFAS exposure and cancer was higher in Black, Mexican, and White women. The analysis revealed that racial differences were connected to the way various communities were exposed to multiple chemicals, depending on geographical, social, and economic conditions.
The researchers concluded that any future work in similar studies should focus on the role of estrogenic chemicals and their potential role in estrogen disruption in ovarian cancer and melanoma. These findings will help update and prioritize toxicants in policies related to greater surveillance of risk assessment and chemical exposures in communities with emerging or existing risks of environmental pollution.
Taking Legal Action After PFAS Exposure
Women who have developed cancer and other chronic ailments due to PFAS exposure should consider pursuing a lawsuit. Currently, several such cases are being added monthly to the MDL (Multidistrict Litigation). The primary requirement for filing a lawsuit is to establish exposure to AFFF for close to a year, along with a cancer diagnosis.
TorHoerman Law advises women who are victims of PFAS exposure to contact a lawyer for legal recourse. However, before meeting with an attorney, they should gather all the necessary evidence to substantiate their claims. This evidence includes medical records, employment records, cancer diagnosis data, the duration of AFFF exposure, and any other information that validates their case.
Lawyers can use these details to build a strong case for presentation in court, thereby ensuring that damages are covered. Typically, victims can receive compensation for lost wages, medical costs, permanent disability, pain, and suffering.
The link between PFAS exposure and cancer risk in women is a pressing issue that demands immediate attention and action. Women must share their stories, increasing awareness about this significant problem, which, in turn, will help hold PFAS manufacturers accountable for their negligence.
Women who have endured PFAS exposure should seek essential medical assistance and maintain their medical records as evidence. With the guidance of an attorney, they should initiate legal proceedings and pursue compensation for the harm they have endured.
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