FIREFIGHTER CANCER REGISTRY ACT INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE

(February 10, 2017) – On Tuesday, February 7th, Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9) announced the introduction of H.R. 931, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act with 76 bipartisan original sponsors. The bill would create a national cancer registry for firefighters diagnosed with cancer.

Studies have indicated a strong link between firefighting and an increased risk of several major cancers, including colon, lung, melanoma, mesothelioma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, prostate, rectal, testicular, stomach, multiple myeloma and brain cancer. The heightened risk of cancer among firefighters has been attributed to their frequent exposure to a range of harmful toxins.

Studies examining cancer risks among firefighters have been limited by the availability of important data and relatively small sample sizes that have an underrepresentation of women, minorities, and volunteer firefighters. As a result, public health researchers have been unable to fully examine and understand the broader epidemiological cancer trends among firefighters. A specialized national cancer registry would expand access to vital epidemiological data and improve research outcomes.

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