AFFF Exposure Symptoms: Health Issues & Cancer Risks (2024)

2024 Guide: Learn to recognize AFFF exposure symptoms, protect your health, and explore legal support options.

Rae Fitzgerald


Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.


Read in 3 mins
AFFF Exposure Symptoms: Health Issues & Cancer Risks (2024)


  • AFFF exposure can lead to cancer, thyroid disease and increased cholesterol
  • Symptoms include respiratory distress, skin irritation and dizziness

Common AFFF Symptoms

When discussing fire fighting foam health effects, it’s important to understand that AFFF exposure has different effects on different people. The AFFF symptoms you experience depend on a number of factors, including the severity of exposure, the method of exposure, and your unique physiology.

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AFFF Exposure Symptoms

Symptoms of AFFF exposure aren’t typically expressed right away. Most of the health effects associated with AFFF take years to manifest, which is why it’s possible to be unaware that you were exposed. Long-term symptoms may include the following:

  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Changes in liver enzymes
  • Increased risk of certain cancers
  • Poor vaccine response
  • Thyroid disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Developmental effects in children
  • Reduced fertility

Immediate or acute exposure symptoms associated with AFFF are relatively rare, as the primary danger associated with this product is PFAS. However, some people experience immediate AFFF side effects after exposure, including respiratory distress, eye and skin irritation, gastrointestinal discomfort, headaches, and dizziness.

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What to Do if You Have AFFF Exposure Symptoms

If you have developed cancer or another serious health condition after long-term exposure to AFFF, you may be eligible to pursue compensation through a lawsuit. However, navigating the legal complexities of these claims can be challenging, which is why it’s important to have a dedicated advocate by your side. The passionate consumer protection specialists at ConsumerShield are here to help you every step of the way.

If you're experiencing symptoms from AFFF exposure, don't suffer in silence. Reach out to ConsumerShield online and take advantage of our Free AFFF Case Review. Our compassionate team is here to assess your situation, provide you with essential resources, and guide you through your legal options.

Understanding AFFF Exposure

Although certain workers, particularly firefighters, are more likely to come into contact with AFFF, many different types of people can be exposed to it. Exposure can occur through several routes, including the following:

  • Skin contact during use
  • Inhalation of aerosols
  • Contaminated water sources
  • Contaminated soil and environment
  • Consumption of contaminated food
  • Occupational exposure

PFAS does not break down easily in the environment, which is why a person can sustain AFFF exposure without ever coming into direct contact with foam.

We live in a world full of hazardous chemicals, many of which have implications to human health that we don’t fully understand. Although products like aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), were designed to save lives, they also come with distinct health risks.

AFFF is a fire suppressant that is used primarily to extinguish petroleum-based fires that is commonly seen and used in military, aviation, and industrial settings. It works by spreading a thin aqueous film that rapidly cuts off the oxygen supply, suffocating the fire. Though extremely effective, AFFF has come under scrutiny as researchers continue to uncover significant health risks and environmental concerns stemming from its chemical composition.

AFFF contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS: a group of more than 9,000 synthetic chemicals that are used in both consumer and industrial products all over the world. Dubbed as “forever chemicals,” PFAS persist in the body and are linked to poor health outcomes, including cancer, increased cholesterol levels, and immune system effects.

If you were exposed to AFFF and have subsequently developed cancer or a different serious health condition, you may be eligible to pursue AFFF compensation through a lawsuit. It's crucial to stay informed about the latest developments in the AFFF lawsuit, as we continuously provide updates on AFFF lawsuit proceedings. Keep reading to learn Does AFFF Cause Cancer?

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Rae Fitzgerald


Discover Rae Fitzgerald, Co-Founder of Law Firm Content Pros, and her expertise in legal writing featured in SUCCESS Magazine and more.

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