NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York Sen. Charles Schumer is pushing for a bill that would establish a cancer registry for firefighters across the country.
The proposed registry, managed by the Center for Disease Control, would allow firefighters to release information about their cancers so that health researchers could find potential connections, WCBS 880’s Stephanie Colombini reported.
“We all know about 9/11, we operated in that toxic stew for days and weeks,” Jake LeMonda, of the Fire Officers Association said. “But every single day firefighters across this country are being exposed to these cancers, and we’re coming down with strange types of cancers.”
LeMonda says he and other officials approached Schumer about the problem, believed to be caused by the emergence of new chemicals used in modern building materials and household items, 1010 WINS’ Samantha Liebman reported.
“The introduction of hydrocarbons has produced a more dangerous atmosphere — an atmosphere in which we operate every single day,” LeMonda said.
The bill aims to collect information that could lead to the ban of potentially carcinogenic chemicals and the development of new safety protocols linked to cancer prevention.
“If these materials — ’cause they’re dangerous to our firefighters — shouldn’t be allowed, they wouldn’t be,” Schumer said. “If there’s a way to treat them, if the firefighters would have to undergo certain protocols before going into a fire that might have this — they do it.”
Schumer says if the bill passes, then the registry could be up and running by January 2017.