Firefighter Cancer Registry Bill advances in House subcommittee

Posted 30 June 2017 at 9:02 pm

Press Release, Congressman Chris Collins

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Chris Collins (NY-27) and Bill Pascrell (NJ-09) authored a bill which would require the CDC to develop and maintain a registry to collect data regarding the incidence of cancer in firefighters, which advanced through the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee on Thursday.

The legislation would take the first step toward addressing the detrimental health effects firefighters may experience due to smoke inhalation and other harmful substances.

“This is an important piece of legislation that truly can save lives,” said Collins. “This database will assist the CDC with research, and the more information they have the better when it comes to developing new protocols and safeguards for these brave men and women.”

There was a 2015 study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health that found that in the U.S. firefighters had a greater number of cancer diagnoses and cancer-related deaths. Unfortunately, this study was limited in scope by a small sample size, yet the proposed legislation would establish and improve collection infrastructure and activities to collect a greater abundance of data.

“Given the strong showing of bipartisan support for this legislation, I am pleased to see it pass the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously. The brave men and women who stare down danger, entering smoked filled rooms and hazardous environments every day in service to their communities deserve our support,” said Congressman Bill Pascrell. “We are now one step closer to creating a national cancer registry for firefighters. This will better our understanding of the trends associated with firefighters developing this life-threatening disease and help ensure that adequate allocation of resources. I look forward to the consideration of this bill in the full House and working with my colleagues in the Senate to pass this bill expeditiously.”

The legislation will advance to the full Energy and Commerce Committee, and if reported favorably can advance to the House floor, Collins said.

For more information on H.R. 931, Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, click here.

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