DANGERS OF AFFF FIREFIGHTING FOAM (AND WHY YOU SHOULD FILE A LAWSUIT)

Dangers of AFFF Firefighting Foam (And Why You Should File a Lawsuit)

Dangers of AFFF Firefighting Foam (And Why You Should File a Lawsuit)

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AFFF means “aqueous film-forming foam.” It's a kind of Firefighting Foam that is most commonly utilized by firefighters to extinguish Class B and Class A fires. Class B fires are the ones that involve flammable liquids, such as for instance gasoline, oil, or paint, while Class A fires are the ones that involve combustible materials, such as wood or paper.

AFFF functions by forming a slim layer of water at first glance of the burning liquid, which effectively smothers the fire and prevents it from spreading. Additionally, AFFF contains surfactants—substances that reduce the surface tension of water—which help the water to spread quicker and evenly over the outer lining of the liquid.

How AFFF Works
● Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) is a type of firefighting foam that is most commonly employed by firefighters to extinguish Class B and Class A fires. Class A fires are those who involve combustible materials like wood or paper, while Class B fires involve flammable liquids like paint, oil, or gasoline.

● To understand how AFFF works, it's first crucial that you know how fire works. Each time a fire burns, it will so because three elements can be found: oxygen, heat, and fuel. The oxygen provides the air necessary for combustion, while the warmth causes the fuel to ignite. Once ignited, the fuel begins to burn, releasing energy in the form of heat and light.

● If one of these simple three elements is removed, the fire will go out. This is where AFFF comes in. When applied to a fire, AFFF forms a slim layer of water on top of the burning liquid. This effectively smothers the fire and prevents it from spreading. Surfactants, which lower water's surface tension, are another ingredient in AFFF. They allow it to be easier and more uniform for water to spread across a liquid's surface.

● Surfactants are especially important when fighting fires involving liquids with high surface tensions, such as for example diesel fuel or crude oil. Without surfactants, these types of liquids would repel water, making it problematic for firefighters to extinguish them.

AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit
AFFF Firefighting foam lawsuit is just a class action lawsuit that was filed in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. This system has been used by the U.S. Military, in addition to many fire departments over the country.

● The principal allegations in the lawsuit are that the firms knew or must have known that the chemicals in AFFF firefighting foam were dangerous and caused health conditions, but they failed to warn the general public or take steps to eliminate the chemicals from the product.

● The chemicals at issue, in this case, are perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

● These chemicals have now been connected to cancer, as well as, other health problems. The plaintiffs, in cases like this, are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are also seeking to really have the companies remove these chemicals from AFFF firefighting foam and other products.

Conclusion:
Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) is an essential tool in the fight fires. By forming a slim layer of water on the surface of burning liquids, it effectively smothers flames and prevents them from spreading. Additionally, its surfactant content helps water to spread more evenly over surfaces with high surface tensions.


For more details check out Firefighters Exposed to PFAS.

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