Are Louisiana firefighters taking steps to remove dangerous AFFF firefighting agents?
Louisiana – January 24, 2023
Firefighters around the country are just starting the tedious process of removing firefighting foam that contains “forever chemicals.” This toxic foam contains PFAS, or poly-fluoroalkyl substances, which can remain in the environment and humans resulting in a variety of health problems that can be very serious and lead to death. When firefighters are diagnosed with medical conditions caused by exposure to work-related chemicals, attorneys at the Law Offices of Stag Liuzza can offer consultation to individuals who are concerned that named health problems may be caused by exposure to AFFF.
Medical studies have linked a plethora of illnesses to AFF chemicals, including liver malfunction, alterations in hormones, thyroid disruption, colitis, obesity, high cholesterol and kidney and testicular cancer. Other studies have cited decreased fertility, negative affects to immune system, impacts to children’s growth and learning disabilities to these chemicals. The Centers for Disease Control claims more research needs to be concluded to rule out a definite link between negative health effects and exposure to PFAS. Louisiana attorneys can discuss concerns surrounding extended use of AFFF and guide legal action when appropriate.
Fire departments develop standard operating procedures to decrease negative effects of the toxins that surround the work actions involved in firefighting. Often personnel are required to limit the negative effects of AFFFs with PFAS/PFOA and PFOS by:
- Replacing AFFF stock with fluorine-free foam solutions,
- Manage and containment of AFFF and water runoff,
- Using personal protective equipment and self-contained breathing apparatus when using AFFF,
- Removing and bagging contaminated personal protective gear before transport,
- Cleaning skin on face, neck, and hands immediately after exposure,
- De-contaminating personal protective equipment and self-contained breathing units before use,
- Showering within one hour of returning to fire station, or home after exposure.
Worker’s compensation laws.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission has a specific process to be undertaken when a person becomes injured on the job, contracts an illness that is job-related, or dies on the job, necessitating a workers’ compensation claim for monetary damages. Environmental attorneys at Stag Liuzza can work with victims of toxic exposures that result in death or leave workers with permanent disability.
Hire a lawyer.
When individuals feel job-related dangers associated with firefighting activities resulted in prolonged exposures to AFFF, causing chronic illness, it may be prudent to discuss the case particulars with experienced attorneys who understand subsequent dangers of AFFF exposure.
STAG LIUZZA, LLC
One Canal Place
365 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
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