Why should you care about PFOA’s and C8?

You lock your doors, tuck your children into bed and do everything you can to make sure they are safe. Then they ask you for a glass of water before they fall asleep. You give them a glass of tap water and kiss them good night. Meanwhile, the chemical companies are dumping PFOA's into the ground. The military bases are hosing down AFFF until it seeps into the ground. These chemicals degrade into C8 and make it into your water supply. They may be in that glass of water you just gave your child.

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Edward Harrington Heyburn, Esq.
(609) 240-5579
heyburn@heyburnlaw.com

Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF)

“Jet fuel is made to burn. When airplanes crash, the reserve of the hydrocarbon liquid can produce a massive, violent fireball. Water, which doesn’t mix with the fuel, does little to extinguish these explosive fires, often just boiling off or sinking ineffectually under the fuel itself. So, about 50 years ago, the Minnesota-based chemical manufacturer 3M, in conjunction with the Navy, developed a product that would help extinguish such fires.

The sudsy liquid, dubbed “Aqueous Film-Forming Foam,” or AFFF, put out hydrocarbon fires more quickly and effectively than ever before by smothering them. Since it was developed, the military has been using huge quantities of the foam, which has been heralded for saving firefighters’ lives. Unfortunately, 3M’s miracle product also contained PFOS. And the other official formulation of the foam purchased by the Department of Defense contains “telomers,” compounds that can break down into PFOA and other PFCs. “The use of AFFF is the major contributor to PFC contamination at Air Force instal­lations. Air Force firefighters used AFFF beginning in 1970 at fire training sites to extinguish test fires during training activi­ties and at aircraft crash sites. PFOS was the active ingredient of the foam until 2001, when the manufacturer ceased production. Other companies continue to produce non- PFOS containing formulations of AFFF— but these products contain other PFCs.”Janet K. Anderson, Ph.D., DABT, Billy Claxton and Cornell Long, “Investigating Emerging Contaminants” The Military Engineer 

In addition to being linked to health problems, PFOA and PFOS stay in the human body for years and, unless they are removed, persist in the environment indefinitely.”  Sharon Lerner, “POISONING THE WELL-Special Report: Toxic Firefighting Foam Has Contaminated U.S. Drinking Water” The Intercept, (Dec. 16, 2015).


 


 

The problem with AFFF is where it goes after the fire is out.  Soldier, Seamen and Airmen hose the foam down and it seeps slowly into the ground.  It degrades into PFOA and PFOS commonly known as C8.  Over time the C8 infiltrates drinking wills, lakes and rivers.  It contaminates our drinking water and C8 builds up in our body.  Because of the unique chemical nature of C8 our bodies are not equipped to eliminate the toxic chemical.  Although chemical companies and the United States Military are reluctant to admit the effects of C8, epidemiological studies have shown that it causes several distinct and identifiable diseases: Thyroid Cancer, Kidney Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, high cholesterol, and endocrine disorders. C8 can harm fetuses and can be passed through breast milk to infants. (Courtney Carignan, Ph.D., “Epidemology of PFAS” Jun 2. 2015.)

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