Firefighter bill may help to promote safety; creates national cancer registry

BY Christopher Lang, Correspondent, @topherlang2 | MonroeNow | Jul 5, 2018

Two New Jersey federal lawmakers created legislation that creates a national cancer registry for firefighters who have been diagnosed with the disease.

The legislation from Sen. Rob Menendez, D-New Jersey, and Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-NJ 9, would also instruct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to oversee a national registry to monitor and study firefighters by looking at the long-term exposure to harmful toxins.

The legislation is headed to President Trump for his approval or denial. The Senate approved the bill in May and the House OK’d it last month.

“Firefighters protect us ALL 24-hours a day, 7 days a week,” Menendez said in a tweet on Thursday. “They work through weekends and holidays that others take for granted. They protect us. The least we can do is protect them. I’m proud to champion the #FirefighterCancerRegistryAct we passed.”

Menendez and Pascrell made the announcement about the legislation advancing to a crowd of firefighters in Englewood on Tuesday.

“Firefighters work for us every day, it’s time to return the favor,” he said.

The ultimate hope is that this bill, if signed, will one day lead to better protective gear and improved safety protocol. The data CDC collects and stores about firefighters, who have developed cancer, will also be made available to public health researchers.