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Current Events and Issues

New Firefighter Cancer Registry will help to monitor cancer incidents

Posted: July 19, 2018

On July 7, President Trump signed the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018. The Act requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and maintain a voluntary registry of firefighters. The registry will include the number and type of fires each firefighter attended.

Information in the registry will be used to improve monitoring of cancer incidents among firefighters and to collect and publish information about the occurrences of cancer among this population. Registry data will be available for research for free if the findings of the research are made public.

Fact: Firefighters have a 9 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer and a 14 percent higher risk of dying from cancer than the general U.S. population.

Source: CDC/National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH)

The USFA recognizes that cancer is a serious occupational health issue in the fire service today. We have been working in partnership with NIOSH on a research project since 2010 to clarify the relationship between firefighter occupational exposures and cancer. The USFA will continue to work with the entire fire and emergency service industry to reduce the occurrence of occupational related cancer.

G. Keith Bryant, U.S. Fire Administrator

The CDC will:

  • Develop a strategy to encourage firefighters’ participation in the registry.
  • Develop guidance for states and firefighting agencies about the registry.
  • Include data on minority, female and volunteer firefighters.
  • Seek feedback on the registry from non-federal experts.

For more information on firefighter cancer awareness and prevention, and resources for families, visit the Firefighter Cancer Support Network's website.

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