A lawsuit which was filed in the United States District Court, District of South Carolina, Charleston Division on February 18 alleges that exposure to AFFF firefighting foam caused a Florida man to develop kidney cancer.
The lawsuit names multiple defendants who manufactured, distributed and sold AFFF firefighting foam, including 3M and DuPont.
The lawsuit centers on the presence of PFAS in AFFF firefighting foam, especially PFOA and PFOS. The complaint alleges that the defendants manufactured, distributed or sold AFFF firefighting foam “with knowledge that it contained highly toxic and bio persistent PFASs, which would expose end users of the product to the risks associated with PFAS.”
The complaint states that PFAS can bind to human blood proteins when people are exposed to AFFF, and that it can persist and remain there for a long time. PFAS “accumulates in the blood and body of exposed individuals,” according to the complaint.
The complaint alleges that “PFAS are highly toxic and carcinogenic chemicals,” and that the defendants knew or should have known they can stay in the body while presenting people with health risks.
The plaintiff used the AFFF firefighting foam in its intended manner and was unaware that the foam was dangerous, according to the complaint, which claims the plaintiff relied on the AFFF’s instructions for proper handling and developed kidney cancer due to consumption, inhalation and/or dermal absorption of PFAS in the foam.
The complaint seeks to recover punitive and compensatory damages arising out of the plaintiff’s kidney cancer.
The plaintiff, according to the complaint, regularly used AFFF in training and to extinguish fires while he worked as a firefighter.
The complaint implies that those who manufactured, distributed and sold products containing PFAS, including at least PFOA, should have known that these products could be dangerous to people by at least the end of the 1960s, since by then animal toxicity testing performed by defendants showed that PFOA was toxic to the liver, testes, adrenals, and other bodily systems and organs Foam Conversion of multiple lab animal species.
The complaint implies that firefighting foam companies should have known that PFAS, including at least PFOA, could accumulate in humans by 1990, as well as that it caused testicular tumors in mice. DuPont classified PFOA as a confirmed animal carcinogen and a possible human carcinogen due to these tumors, according to the complaint.
The complaint argues that any confirmed animal carcinogen must be presumed to be a possible human carcinogen in the absence of a known cancer mechanism in animals. There is, to date, no known mechanism behind how PFAS like PFOA cause cancer in animals.
The complaint also notes that DuPont testing by 1990 had found elevated cancer r