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NJ Firefighters Among 20,000 With Cancer Suing Makers of Foam Chemicals

July 1, 2024 |

Credit: Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

During fire training exercises twice a year at Kennedy International Airport in the 1970s and '80s, Charles O’Neill, a retired Port Authority police officer who worked out of Newark Airport, would repeatedly spray simulated aircraft fires with firefighting foam over the intense weeklong sessions. 

O’Neill is one of about 20,000 active-duty and retired firefighters across the U.S., including nearly 300 in New Jersey, suing more than a dozen companies that manufactured chemicals in firefighting foam and the gear worn on calls they say contributed to their cancer diagnoses and other serious health problems.

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NJ SEED: PFAS– forever chemicals – are found in many common products such as food packaging, and clothing. Firefighters have greater exposure because these chemicals are prevalent in firefighting foam. A number of large companies such as 3M and DuPont are at risk of significant legal challenges because they manufactured products containing PFAS.

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