AFFF Foam Cancer 101: Everything You Need to Know (2024)

The AFFF foam cancer controversy continues to unfold, with this unique substance being linked to numerous types of malignant diseases.

Sarah Edwards


Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.


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AFFF Foam Cancer 101: Everything You Need to Know (2024)

For many years, aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) was viewed as a breakthrough firefighting tool, especially in industrial and military settings. However, recent studies have raised concerns about the potential health risks associated with AFFF, which contains numerous “forever chemicals.”

AFFF foam cancer is one of the most concerning side effects you could face. In the following guide, you’ll learn the fundamentals of AFFF foam cancer. We explore the common types of cancer you could contract and the potential resources available for those diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to the aqueous substance.

What Is AFFF Foam?

Aqueous film-forming foam is a firefighting foam that is often used to suppress fires with flammable liquids like gasoline, oil, and jet fuel. AFFF works by forming a thin film on the surface of the liquid, preventing the release of flammable vapors and extinguishing the flames.

The foam contains a mixture of synthetic chemicals known as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). These forever chemicals can get into the body when people use AFFF foams and cause lasting problems, including cancer.

Does AFFF Cause Cancer?

The National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics has discovered a strong link between exposure to certain types of PFAS and various kinds of cancer. Some PFAS can be found in aqueous film-forming foam.

Each time a firefighter or other user gets exposed to AFFF, they can accumulate PFAS chemicals. Over time, these chemicals have the potential to cause a variety of biological symptoms and fuel the development of cancer cells.

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Common AFFF Foam Cancer Types

Scientists are still exploring the link between aqueous film-forming foam and various types of cancers. However, a growing body of research suggests that the substance has ties to several forms of cancer, including:

Bladder Cancer

This disease begins in the bladder, the organ responsible for storing urine. AFFF chemicals have been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, particularly among individuals with occupational exposure, such as firefighters and industrial workers.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer involves the formation of malignant cells in the breast tissue. Some research suggests a potential association between firefighting foam and breast cancer, particularly among women.

Colorectal Cancer

This disease impacts the colon and rectum. It typically develops from precancerous polyps in the rectum lining.

Liver Cancer

Also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, this disease forms in the liver cells and can spread to different parts of the body. As with other types of AFFF foam cancer, risk tends to increase as exposure frequency rises.

Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer develops in the male reproductive organs responsible for producing sperm and testosterone. Even if patients overcome the disease, they can face lifelong hormonal challenges.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer forms in the prostate gland. This small organ is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum in men.


Mesothelioma represents one of the rarest and most aggressive forms of cancer. It affects the mesothelium, a thin layer of tissue that lines the lungs, abdomen, heart, and other internal organs.


Leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, can be incredibly deadly and hard to treat. Patients with this disease experience rapid white blood cell multiplication, which interferes with normal blood cell production.

What Can I Do if I Develop AFFF Cancer?

If you develop AFFF foam cancer, you may be entitled to compensation. It’s important to document your history of interactions with the chemical and seek expert legal representation right away. A skilled attorney can help you understand your rights, gather facts to support your claim, and initiate a suit against liable parties.

Your lawyer will consider a wide range of factors when preparing your case, including the following:

  • The duration and frequency of exposure
  • The severity of your symptoms
  • The quality of the evidence

After assessing your case, they can begin to help you pursue compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and long-term effects of your cancer diagnosis.

Have There Been Any Lawsuits for AFFF Cancer?

Yes. In fact, there have been dozens of lawsuits associated with aqueous film-forming foam cancer cases. Generally, these cases can be divided into one of two groups: class action lawsuits and individual product liability cases.

During a class action suit, individuals who’ve suffered similar consequences due to the defendant’s actions can file a large claim together. Often, they include others who’ve suffered a similar loss in their claim and seek damages as a collective entity. This approach makes processing the case more efficient.

Alternatively, you can file an individual product liability case. Under this approach, you seek damages and compensation based on the unique circumstances surrounding your situation. An experienced attorney can help you decide which approach offers the best fit for your needs.

Need Legal Representation? ConsumerShield Can Help

Would you like to connect with an AFFF foam cancer attorney? Contact ConsumerShield and let us help.

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Sarah Edwards


Sarah Edwards is a seasoned legal writer with more than a decade of experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Any case of cancer linked to exposure to aqueous film-forming foam can be referred to as “AFFF foam cancer.” Some common types of cancer associated with AFFF include prostate cancer, mesothelioma, breast cancer, liver cancer, and leukemia.

  • If your cancer is linked to documented exposure to AFFF, you may be able to file a lawsuit. There have been numerous class-action suits and individual claims related to AFFF foam cancer.

  • AFFF lawsuits are divided into three tiers, with Tier 3 being the least severe and Tier 1 representing more serious conditions. Tier 3 cases involve payouts of $75,000. Tier 2 payouts fall between $150,000 to $280,000, and Tier 1 settlements range from $200,000 to $500,000.

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