What Cancer Does AFFF Cause?


  • AFFF exposure can cause cancer when toxic PFAS binds to protein structures and leads to abnormal cell growth
  • Liver cancer can lead to weight loss, weakness, fatigue, and abdominal pain
  • Kidney cancer can affect the body’s ability to filter out toxic substances
  • Bladder cancer occurs when cancer cells grow in the lower abdomen and affect someone’s urination
  • Pancreatic cancer can change the body’s ability to digest food

The most popular firefighting foam used by civilian and military units is Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), which creates a cooling foam around a fire to smother the fuel and extinguish the fire. However, AFFF firefighting foam contains toxic chemicals known as per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to fight fires that can expose people to cancer risk.

PFAS can seep into the body of civilians, firefighters, and airport workers. It can bind to protein structures, causing cancer through damaging DNA and altering hormone levels. Some cancer people exposed to dangerous levels of AFFF firefighting foam can suffer include liver, kidney, bladder, and pancreatic cancer.

Liver Cancer Caused by AFFF Exposure

One of the most common types of cancers caused by AFFF firefighting foam exposure is liver cancer. The liver is an organ in the upper-right abdomen area of the body. It can help to break down alcohol and drugs and produce bile to digest fat and carry waste throughout the body.

The per and poly-fluoroalkyl (PFAS) can mutate cells in the liver and form a tumor, leading to liver cancer like hepatocellular carcinoma. Liver cancer can cause significant symptoms that can affect a person’s daily life, such as unexplained weight loss, jaundiced skin, fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, swelling, and abdominal pain.

Can Exposure to AFFF Firefighting Foam Cause Kidney Cancer?

The kidneys help to remove toxic substances from the bloodstream. They can filter out waste products and help produce urine to help remove excess fluid from the body and protect someone from health issues caused by toxicity. However, the toxic chemicals in AFFF firefighting foam can result in kidney cancer, affecting the control of toxic substances.

Kidney cancer can result from tumors growing on the two vital organs due to cell metabolism disruption. This type of cancer resulting from AFFF firefighting foam exposure can lead to symptoms like bone pain, blood in someone’s urine, weight loss, lumps, tiredness, anemia, and high blood pressure.

Bladder Cancer Can Result from Exposure to Toxic PFAS in AFFF Firefighting Foam

The bladder stores urine in the lower abdomen. It works in concert with the kidneys, which help to create urine. The balloon-shaped bladder stores it until the body is ready to urinate, helping to get rid of waste products in the process. Those exposed to PFAS in AFFF firefighting foam can experience bladder cancer.

It can occur when the toxic chemicals in the firefighting foam bind to protein structures in the bladder and cause abnormal cell growth. Some symptoms that can indicate someone has bladder cancer include frequent urination, pain and suffering during urination, nighttime urination, lower back pain, and swelling in the feet.

Pancreatic Cancer Caused by AFFF Exposure

The pancreas helps digest food. It can create an enzyme that can help with the digestion of protein, and it can modulate blood sugar levels by creating insulin. The pancreas working properly is vital for your body to function, but AFFF exposure can lead to pancreatic cancer that can affect how it functions.

Pancreatic cancer can disrupt the flow of digestion, blocking food from moving between the stomach and intestines. Symptoms of AFFF exposure that can indicate you may have pancreatic cancer include nausea, swelling, abnormal weight loss, abdomen or back pain, and diabetes diagnosis.

Contact The Russo Firm for Support With Your AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit

The Russo Firm’s experienced product liability attorneys can use their expertise to help you pursue compensation for cancer damages. We understand the physical and emotional pain caused by a cancer diagnosis and wish to help you pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost earning potential, and mental anguish.

Our lawyers can use their mass tort and product liability expertise to assist you in joining the AFFF firefighting foam MDL, collecting evidence to prove AFFF manufacturers’ liability, and negotiating a settlement. Contact The Russo Firm’s product liability attorneys for a free AFFF cancer case evaluation at (561) 270-0913  or by providing details on our online contact page.

Frequently Asked Questions About AFFF Causing Cancer

How Can AFFF Exposure Cause Cancer?

Exposure to AFFF firefighting foam causes cancer because of the toxic PFAS used in the foam. These chemicals are vital in creating the cooling foam that can extinguish the fire, but they also have carcinogenic qualities that expose someone to cancer when they are exposed to large amounts.

The PFAS in AFFF firefighting foam can bind to protein structures in the body, causing abnormal cell growth and affecting hormone levels in the process. This can cause the types of cancer listed above. Those who suffer cancer from AFFF exposure can file paperwork to join the AFFF firefighting foam mass tort to pursue payment for financial and emotional losses.

What Medical Treatments Can Someone Receive After a Cancer Diagnosis?

Medical cancer treatment can involve surgery. There are surgical procedures that can involve removing the tissue in the body with cancerous cells to prevent the tumors from causing cancer. However, this can be an expensive option, leading to significant medical bills that may require someone to file a civil claim to pay for.

Those who suffer cancer from AFFF exposure can also receive therapy treatments to ease the symptoms of cancer. This can include chemotherapy for killing cancer cells with special medication, radiation therapy for removing cancer cells with high-energy rays, and hormone therapy to prevent cancer cells from continuing to grow.

Can a Product Liability Attorney Help With Your Toxic Firefighting Foam Claim?

Hiring a lawyer can help with the process of joining the AFFF firefighting foam multidistrict litigation (MDL). A product liability attorney can apply their experience with other mass torts to your AFFF firefighting foam case to help you file the necessary paperwork to join over six thousand others affected by toxic firefighting foam.

They can also help you determine what damages you suffered, calculate your eligibility in an AFFF lawsuit, gather tangible evidence, and help negotiate a global settlement to pay all plaintiffs for their individual damages.


Article written or reviewed by:

Attorney Anthony Russo

Attorney Anthony Russo

Managing Partner and Lawyer at The Russo Firm

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