Firefighters sue 3M and DuPont over PFAS gear

(Photo Credit: JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock)

Firefighters class action lawsuit overview:

  • Who is: Connecticut Firefighting Organizations filed a Class Action Lawsuit against chemical manufacturers including 3M and DuPont.
  • Why? DuPont and 3M allegedly knew that the firefighting gear they used contained per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, but failed to warn the firefighters of the danger.
  • Where: The lawsuit filed by firefighters against PFAS was filed at the Connecticut federal court.

A new Connecticut class-action lawsuit alleges that their protective gear contained dangerous amounts of perfluoroalkyl substances.

The Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association filed a class action lawsuit, along with five unions of firefighters and five individual firefighters against chemical manufacturers 3M Company and DuPont De Nemours Inc.

According to the firefighters class action suit, the defendants misrepresented the safety of their chemicals and materials and failed to warn the customers about the risks to human health.

The PFAS class is a group of synthetic chemicals that are called “forever chemical” compounds because they don’t degrade over time. The firefighters’ class action lawsuit claims that these qualities make them persist in the human body and environment for very long periods of times.

According to the lawsuit, PFASs can be absorbed by the skin, inhaled or ingested. The lawsuit claims that PFAS can be spread by mothers to their babies via the placenta and breast milk.

According to the class action lawsuit filed by firefighters, PFAS exposure has been linked to cancers, tumors and liver damage. It is also associated with endocrine disorders and immune system disorders. High cholesterol, reduced fertility, birth defects, as well as a variety of other health problems, are all mentioned in the suit.

Plaintiffs claim that defendants failed to warn firefighters about PFAS exposure

According to the class-action lawsuit, firefighters wear turnout gear on the job to protect themselves. Turnout gear includes hoods and jackets as well as pants, gloves, boots, and boots.

The firefighters PFAS suit claims that turnout gear components consist of three layers, a water-repellent outer shell, a moisture barrier in the middle, and an inner thermal lining. The suit claims that scientific research has confirmed the presence of PFAS in all three layers.

According to a class action lawsuit, firefighters exposed to PFAS from their gear experienced “subclinical cellular alterations in their bodies that put them at increased risk for developing adverse health conditions including but not limited cancers.”

The plaintiffs have filed the PFAS lawsuit for firefighters in Connecticut who have worn turnout equipment manufactured, designed or marketed by the defendants.

A federal judge in South Carolina approved an $750 million settlement

Do you believe the defendants are liable for not warning firefighters about PFAS? Comment on the article.

Ian W. Sloss is represented by Jennifer Sclar, Kate Sayed and Ian W. Sloss of Silver Golub & Teitell LLP.

Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut et others is the plaintiff in the class action lawsuit against firefighters for PFAS. v. 3M Company, et al., Case No. 3:24 cv 01101, U.S. District Court District of Connecticut.

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