Senator Reed Hails Launch of National Firefighter Registry for Cancer as Key Tool to Protect Health of U.S. Firefighters

In an effort to protect firefighter health and safety, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today hailed the launch of the National Firefighter Registry for Cancer.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through its National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), launched the online enrollment system for firefighters across the nation this week.

The National Firefighter Registry for Cancer is used to track and analyze cancer trends and risk factors among the U.S. fire service to help find better ways to protect those who protect our communities and environment.

Senator Reed, who helped pass legislation creating the national registry, which is managed by the CDC, says it is the largest national effort undertaken to support and advance understanding of cancer in the fire service.

“When there is a fire, our firefighters answer the call and rush to put it out. But all the chemicals, smoke, and carcinogens they are exposed to can end up impacting their health. This registry is about better protecting the health, safety, and well-being of our firefighters,” said Reed, who helped pass the Firefighter Registry Cancer Act of 2018 and worked on the Appropriations Committee to secure over $10 million to fund the program. “Too many brave firefighters have been afflicted with occupation-related cancer. This registry will help researchers better understand the link between on-the-job exposure to toxins and cancer. It will help ensure the right steps are being taken to improve firefighter health and save lives.”

According to the CDC, cancer is a leading cause of death among firefighters. Numerous studies show that firefighters’ exposure on the fireground, where smoke and hazardous chemicals are released from burning materials, may increase the risk of certain types of cancer.

And according to the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, firefighters’ risks are significantly higher for some specific types of cancer than the general population.

Participation in the National Firefighter Registry for Cancer is voluntary and conducted through a secure government web site. Registration takes about 30 minutes to complete.

All U.S. firefighters, whether they work full time or on a volunteer basis, and whether they are active duty or retired, are eligible to join by visiting: NFR.CDC.GOV




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