Gary Flook served in the Air Force for 37 years, as a firefighter at the now-closed Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois and the former Grissom Air Force Base in Indiana, where he regularly trained with aqueous film forming foam, or AFFF — a frothy white fire retardant that is highly effective but now known to be toxic.
Flook, who was unaware of its health hazards, volunteered with his local fire department. Flook was 45 years old when he learned he had testicular carcinoma. He would need an orchiectomy, followed by chemotherapy.
Flook has filed a lawsuit against a company that manufactures firefighting chemicals and products.
Multiple studies have shown that firefighters (both military and civilian) are diagnosed with testicular carcinoma at a higher rate than most other occupations. This is often due to the presence in foam of PFAS or perfluoroalkyl- and polyfluoroalkyl-substances.
But the link between PFAS and testicular cancer among service members was never directly proven — until now.
The first federal study to show a direct relationship between PFOS – a PFAS – found in…