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After 4 years, Congress may try again to create a firefighter cancer registry

by Bill Gabbert, Wildfire Today |

A bill soon to be introduced in the House of Representatives, the "Tim Hart Wildland Firefighter Classification and Pay Parity Act," would accomplish several things to improve the pay and other working conditions of federal wildland firefighters.

One of the provisions in that legislation, the creation of a “Federal Wildland Firefighter Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Database”, is interesting. More than four years ago the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018 which passed July 7, 2018, required that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), an agency within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), establish a Firefighter Cancer Registry. The goal was to better understand the link between workplace exposures and cancer among firefighters. NIOSH has been piddling around with this for four years, led by Kenny Fent, accomplishing very little.

Kudos to the legislators who will attempt to get it done another way, after apparently giving up on the NIOSH Firefighter Cancer Registry.