Prolonged exposure to harmful fumes and toxins places firefighters at a higher risk for cancer; registry would monitor and study the relationship between this exposure and the incidence of cancer in firefighters to support better research and to help develop better protective gear and prevention techniques
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is supporting bipartisan legislation to establish a national cancer registry for firefighters. Prolonged exposure to harmful fumes and toxins places firefighters at a higher risk for cancer. The Firefighter Cancer Registry Act would monitor and study the relationship between this exposure and the incidence of cancer in firefighters to support better research and to help develop better protective gear and prevention techniques.
“America’s firefighters sacrifice their safety each and every day for others. The least we can do is attempt to protect their health through improved research into the links between their work and occurrences of deadly diseases like cancer,” Klobuchar said. “The creation of a national cancer registry is an important step in helping our brave firefighters in their fight against this disease. ”
The registry would improve collection capabilities and activities related to the nationwide monitoring of cancer incidence among all firefighters – career and volunteer. Specifically, the registry would:
- Store and consolidate epidemiological information submitted by healthcare professionals related to cancer incidence among firefighters.
- Make de-identified data available to public health researchers to provide them with robust and comprehensive datasets to expand groundbreaking research.
- Improve our understanding of cancer incidence and could potentially lead to the development of more sophisticated safety protocols and safeguards as more data is collected.
- To ensure the effectiveness of the registry, its administrators would be required to consult regularly with epidemiologists, public health experts, clinicians, and firefighters.
This bipartisan bill has been endorsed by a number of major fire organizations, including the National Volunteer Fire Council, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Congressional Fire Services Institute, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, and the International Fire Services Training Association.