Bill to create national firefighter cancer registry introduced
The registry would enable researchers to study the relationship between firefighters’ exposure to dangerous fumes and harmful toxins
By FireRescue1 Staff
WASHINGTON — Two Congressmen from opposite sides of the aisle introduced a bill Thursday that would establish a national registry for firefighters diagnosed with cancer.
The bill, by U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr., D-N.J., and Chris Collins, R-N.Y., would enable researchers to study the relationship between firefighters’ exposure to dangerous fumes and harmful toxins and the increased risk for several major cancers.
“Every day we asked the brave men and women in the fire service to stare down danger, enter smoked filled rooms and hazardous environments. That is why we need to do everything possible to protect their health, safety, and ensure they have proper access to care should they get sick,” Pascrell said.
Collins said the legislation will provide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the tools they need to improve their data collection capabilities on firefighters.
“Public servants like our firefighters put their lives on the line every day for us,” Collins said.
A 2015 study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that in the United States firefighters had a greater number of cancer diagnoses and cancer-related deaths for certain types of cancer when compared to the general U.S. population, specifically digestive, oral, respiratory and urinary cancers and malignant mesothelioma.