WASHINGTON, D.C. (WENY) – Congress has passed a bill creating a national firefighter cancer registry.
The Registry will be managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and would help medical professionals more effectively track and treat firefighters with cancer.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has promoted the passage of this bill, says research has found a strong connection between firefighting and an increased risk for several major cancers including testicular, stomach, multiple myeloma and brain cancers.
Schumer said firefighters are exposed to a range of harmful toxins such as asbestos and flame retardants that are linked to cancer.
The registry would compile epidemiological information related to cancer incidence among firefighters and make it available to health researchers.
In a statement today, Schumer said, “Every day firefighters risk everything to protect communities and families across New York. We owe it to these fearless men and women to ensure that if they get sick, they will be cared for in the same way that they care for us. This new law will help firefighters across the country by establishing the national firefighter cancer registry – allowing researchers to track, treat, and I hope to prevent cancer. I pushed hard this year to get this bill across the finish line, and I’m proud it is now law. I urge the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to begin implementing this law immediately, so we can get to work protecting those who keep us safe.”