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Rubio, Menendez, Colleagues Introduce Firefighter Cancer Registry Reauthorization Act
Firefighters are exposed to a range of harmful toxins, and research has indicated a strong connection between firefighting and an increased risk for several major cancers, such as testicular, stomach, multiple myeloma, and brain cancers. In 2018, Senator Rubio joined his colleagues in introducing and passing the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, which created a national cancer registry for firefighters diagnosed with the deadly disease. Since then, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has enrolled firefighters into the registry and collected critical data.
To continue this important work, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the Firefighter Cancer Registry Reauthorization Act. This bipartisan legislation would reauthorize the national registry for firefighters diagnosed with cancer for an additional five years.
- “Firefighters always answer the call and put their lives on the line to protect us from dangerous situations. The nature of their work makes them susceptible to multiple health complications, including cancer. I am proud to support this bill that aims to protect these brave first responders from cancer, and I encourage my colleagues in Congress to swiftly pass it.” – Senator Rubio
- “I am pleased to be leading this bipartisan effort to reauthorize the firefight cancer registry as we work to promote the health and well-being of our first responders all across the nation. Reauthorizing this law would be a huge win for our firefighters, who put their lives on the line every day to help protect us and our loved ones. Firefighters not only encounter smoke and flames when they run into burning buildings, but also dangerous fumes, toxins, and known carcinogens released during a fire that pose additional health risks. The ultimate goal is to prevent cancer in firefighters by developing better ways of protecting, and reauthorizing this law will help us better comprehend their cancer risks.” – Senator Menendez
Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are also original cosponsors.
Specifically, the registry:
- Stores and consolidates epidemiological information submitted by health care professionals related to cancer incidence among firefighters;
- Makes de-identified data available to public health researchers to provide them with robust and comprehensive datasets to expand groundbreaking research;
- Improves our understanding of cancer incidence and could potentially lead to the development of more sophisticated safety protocols and safeguards as more data is collected; and
- To ensure the effectiveness of the registry, its administrators are required to consult regularly with epidemiologists, public health experts, clinicians, and firefighters.
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