Firefighting Foam Contaminates Water for 9,000 in Maine

Firefighting Foam Contaminates Water for 9,000 in Maine

As firefighting foam lawsuits rage on, the substance continues to affect cities nationwide. Recently, firefighting foam polluted a public water system in Maine, impacting over 9,000 residents. Firefighting foam is at the heart of growing litigation, which alleges exposure to the foam can lead to cancer and other severe health problems. A dangerous class of chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has turned firefighting foam into a leading concern for public health. The firefighting foam contamination in Maine is just one example of how this substance can terrorize communities.

Over 9,000 People Affected by Firefighting Foam Contamination in Maine

Despite environmental and public health concerns, firefighting foam has been a popular resource in several industries for over five decades. The military, firefighters, and even airports have relied on firefighting foam to extinguish petroleum-based fires. Many industries prefer firefighting foam over water because it can quickly cover a fire and cut off its oxygen supply.

On May 22, 2023, a catastrophic apartment building fire erupted in Waterville, Maine. Waterville firefighters used firefighting foam, presumed to contain PFAS, to combat the apartment fire. The fire killed one person and injured several others. Most newer buildings have a special valve to stop firefighting foam or water from making its way into the public waterway. However, this apartment complex, built in 1972, may not have had this system in place.

While the extent of contamination is unknown, the Kennebec Water District issued an immediate system wide Do Not Drink Order. The firefighting foam contamination in Maine affected 9,000 customers in Waterville, Winslow, Benton, Fairfield, and Vassalboro. The water district lifted the order the following day, but residents are apprehensive. The district advised residents to flush their water lines by running taps for 3 to 5 minutes or longer if odors or foaming occurred.

PFAS in Firefighting Foam Can Linger in Water Supply

Fire Capt. Edward Moult clarified that the firefighting foam was free of fluorine, another toxic chemical sometimes found in firefighting foam. Despite the absence of fluorine, the foam was believed to have PFAS. PFAS are notoriously difficult to remove from the environment, including water sources. These chemicals linger and build up in food and water sources. Additionally, studies have linked PFAS to several cancers, such as:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Prostate cancer

Like the firefighting contamination in Maine, firefighting foam lawsuits allege companies have introduced hazardous PFAS into cities across the country. Plaintiffs demand compensation for injuries reportedly caused by PFAS contamination, in addition to medical monitoring and cleanup costs.

The Lake Law Firm Supports Firefighting Foam Victims

The recent contamination of a public water system in Maine, affecting over 9,000 residents, is just one distressing example of the far-reaching consequences caused by firefighting foam.

The Lake Law Firm understands the plight of those affected by firefighting foam. We are here to support and fight for the rights of individuals and communities harmed by this toxic substance. Our experienced team of attorneys is dedicated to pursuing fair compensation for those injured by firefighting foam contamination.

Take the first step towards seeking the justice you deserve. Call us today at (888) 525-3529 to see if you qualify for a potential claim.