A bipartisan group of 76 Congressional Representatives have signed on as sponsors for legislation that would establish a national cancer registry for firefighters diagnosed with this deadly disease. The bill is titled Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2017. (UPDATE March 25, 2019. A version of the legislation was signed into law. The Centers for Disease Control has more information. We expect to write more about this later, in articles tagged “cancer registry“.)
Most firefighters know others in their profession who have suffered from and in some cases died of various forms of cancer.
The British Columbia government recognizes at least nine “presumptive cancers” among firefighters, including leukemia, testicular cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer, bladder cancer, ureter cancer, colorectal cancer, and non-Hodgkins’s lymphoma.
…The creation of this registry would enable researchers to study the relationship between firefighters’ exposure to dangerous fumes and harmful toxins and the increased risk for several major cancers. In the future, this information could also allow for better protective equipment and prevention techniques to be developed.
“Public servants like our firefighters put their lives on the line every day for us,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “Unfortunately, firefighters see a higher rate of cancer than the rest of the public. This legislation will provide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the tools they need to improve their data collection capabilities on volunteer, paid-on-call, and career firefighters. We hope that by creating a voluntary ‘Firefighter Registry’ that includes the many variables that occur over a firefighter’s career, the CDC will be able to better study this deadly trend. In the future, this information can be used to provide better safeguards and protocols for these brave men and women.”