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NIOSH launches National Firefighter Registry to study cancer risk in the fire service

The registry is intended to help scientists better understand the link between cancer and firefighting in order to improve firefighters’ health


By Leila Merrill

WASHINGTON — The National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health on Monday launched the National Firefighter Registry, the largest existing effort to understand and reduce the risk of cancer among firefighters.

The registry is intended to help scientists better understand the link between cancer and firefighting to ultimately improve firefighter health. The NFR will capture details about firefighters’ work and match it with cancer information from state cancer registries.

The registry is open to all U.S. firefighters – paid or volunteer, active or retired, instructors, investigators, other members of the fire service, and those with or without cancer.

Enrollment takes approximately 30 minutes and includes a questionnaire about both fire service and health history. Participation is voluntary, and personal information is confidential.

Download an enrollment tip sheet here.

The NFR is a long-term project, and firefighters’ participation is key to its success.

NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., encourages all firefighters across America to join the NFR for Cancer:

The more firefighters who join the NFR, the more researchers can learn about cancer arising from firefighting and how to prevent it. Firefighters are vital to the safety of our communities and their enrollment in the NFR for cancer can help protect them and the next generation of firefighters from cancer.”

The NFR Team Lead, Kenny Fent, Ph.D., CIH, shared his insights about the project:

With more than 1 million career and volunteer firefighters across the U.S., protecting their health and safety is a top priority for NIOSH. We are excited to raise awareness about this groundbreaking effort to better understand and reduce cancer among all types of firefighters, including those who have traditionally been underrepresented in research, such as women, volunteers, and firefighters from racial and ethnic minority groups.”

UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute shared a statement about the NFR:

FSRI is proud to collaborate with NIOSH in promoting this important tool. Our online training course, “Comprehensive Cancer Prevention Strategies for the Fire Service,” that was originally launched last fall now includes a demonstration of how to register for the NFR. We hope you will join us in amplifying this effort and the results will help protect members of the fire service from developing cancer, lessen the impact of cancer on firefighters’ families and friends, pave the way for new health and safety measures, and improve our understanding of cancer risk among minority, female, and volunteer firefighters.”