Aqueous film-forming foam (“AFFF”), commonly referred to as firefighting foam was used for a long to put out fires fueled by gasoline and other types of chemicals. Firefighting foam contains high concentrations of PFAS and new scientific evidence has linked PFAS exposure to certain cancer types. Testicular cancer is one of the diseases that has been scientifically linked to occupational exposure to AFFF firefighting foam.
This page will look at AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits involving testicular cancer and their potential settlement value.
Testicular cancer originates in the testicles (or testes), the male reproductive glands located within the scrotum. These glands are responsible for producing sperm and male sex hormones.
Testicular cancer is relatively rare compared to other types of cancer. However, it stands as the most common cancer among males aged 15 to 35 in many Western countries. Despite its incidence in this age group, it boasts a high cure rate, especially if detected early.
Primary factors that may increase the risk of testicular cancer include having an undescended testicle (cryptorchidism), a family history of the disease, and age—particularly those between 15 and 35. Additionally, white men seem to be at a higher risk compared to other racial and ethnic groups.
Fortunately, testicular cancer ranks among the most treatable cancer forms. Its early detection significantly improves treatment outcomes. Even in cases where the cancer has metastasized, or spread, effective treatments are available.
Testicular cancer treatments vary depending on the type and stage of cancer. Surgery to remove the affected testicle is a primary treatment for nearly all stages. In certain cases, radiation therapy, which employs high-powered energy beams, might be utilized. Chemotherapy, which uses drugs to target cancer cells, is another option. After the primary treatment, surveillance in the form of regular check-ups ensures the cancer doesn’t make a comeback.
Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) is a type of firefighting foam primarily used for extinguishing fuel fires, particularly in military, aviation, and industrial settings. AFFF is effective at quickly suppressing flammable liquid fires by forming a thin, water-based layer that cools the fire and prevents its contact with oxygen.
A primary concern with AFFF is its historical content of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of man-made chemicals. PFAS are used in many industrial applications due to their resistance to water, grease, and stains. These chemicals are persistent, meaning they don’t break down easily in the environment or the human body. As a result, they’ve become prevalent contaminants in water systems, especially near areas where AFFF has been extensively used, like military bases and airports.
AFFF and Testicular Cancer
There’s emerging evidence suggesting that PFAS exposure could be linked to an increased risk of testicular cancer. Several studies have indicated that men with higher levels of certain PFAS chemicals in their blood might have a higher risk of developing testicular cancer. However, the exact relationship and mechanisms aren’t entirely understood, and more research is needed to establish a clear causal link.
New 2023 Study
In a recent study released in Environmental Health Perspectives in July 2023, researchers have identified a clear correlation between exposure to perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)—a variant of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS)—and the incidence of testicular cancer among military members.
This research, a collaborative effort between the National Cancer Institute and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, analyzed data from over 1,000 Air Force members. The team picked 530 servicemen with testicular cancer and 530 without it and checked blood samples from before they got sick. They found that high PFAS levels in the blood often came from jobs like firefighting or from being at a base where the water had lots of PFAS.
Moreover, the risk of developing testicular cancer seemed to intensify -as you would expect – based on the duration of exposure, indicating the cumulative effects of this substance over extended periods.
AFFF Testicular Cancer Lawsuits
The scientific evidence linking AFFF firefighting foam exposure to testicular cancer is very strong. In fact, the recent study on testicular cancer and PFAS makes the causation evidence for testicular cancer one of the strongest of all the cancer types linked to AFFF. Anyone who was regularly exposed to AFFF firefighting foam either on the job or elsewhere and subsequently developed testicular cancer may be eligible to filed an AFFF lawsuit and get compensation from the companies who manufactured firefighting foam.
Thousands of AFFF firefighting foam cancer lawsuits have already been filed across the country and consolidated into a class action MDL in federal court in South Carolina. The AFFF MDL also included cases alleging that AFFF contaminated municipal water supplies. Those water contamination cases were settled in August 2023, leaving many to believe that a global settlement of the individual cancer cases could be coming soon.
Settlement Value of AFFF Testicular Cancer Cases
So how much could an AFFF firefighting foam testicular cancer lawsuit be worth in settlement? The AFFF cancer cases will most likely be resolved in a mass tort global settlement. In these types of settlements, the defendants agree to contribute large sums of money into a settlement fund from which individual claimants receive settlement payouts based on certain criteria. The amount of compensation is usually based on a tiered ranking system in which individual cases are ranked based on certain factors (strength of case, severity of injuries, etc.). Those cases in the highest settlement tiers qualify for more compensation, while those in the lower tiers get less.
In the AFFF lawsuits, the top settlement tier will probably be for plaintiffs with long-term occupational exposure to AFFF and diagnosis with one of the more dangerous cancer types that have been linked to AFFF. AFFF plaintiffs in lower settlement tiers would include people with less occupational exposure or a diagnosis of less severe types of cancer.
AFFF testicular cancer cases will be in one of the middle or lower settlement tiers and could have an average payout value between $75,000 to $325,000. Although the causation evidence linking testicular cancer is very strong, testicular cancer is very treatable and has a high survival rate. The 5-year survival rate for testicular cancer is 96%. That is much higher than some of the other types of cancer linked to AFFF, such as kidney cancer. The good overall prognosis for testicular cancer means that these cases will have a lower average settlement value.
File an AFFF Firefighting Foam Testicular Cancer Lawsuit
Miller & Zois is currently accepting new AFFF firefighting foam cases involving testicular cancer. Contact our AFFF class action lawyers today to get your case started. Call 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.