Thanks to bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, the bill to establish a National Firefighter Cancer Registry is one step closer to passing.
H.R.931 “Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018” would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to collect firefighter occupational information and history, both volunteer and career. Data can then be connected to state cancer registries.
cancer is a looming personal catastrophe for each and every firefighter.”Firefighter Cancer Support Network
While the details are not yet decided and the registry is likely months or years away, this is a crucial step to not only definitively link cancer to firefighter occupational hazards but also to show the true impact cancer has on the fire service, firefighter families and communities across the country.
The bill currently in Congress states information collection is to be voluntary and all data collected must be free to access. This provides researchers and scientists invaluable information to use in further study and statistical analysis.
There are things you can do today to keep from becoming one of those statistics. The Firefighter Cancer Support Network says “cancer is a looming personal catastrophe for each and every firefighter.” Its library of cancer-related resources includes many articles and studies on reducing exposure to carcinogens; proper use, maintenance and cleaning of PPE; and other steps individuals and departments can take to reduce cancer risks.