There's a push to track the cancer cases of U.S. firefighters

At the national and state levels there are bills to create registries to keep track of firefighters' cancer cases.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

New bills introduced in Congress and the Minnesota Legislature this month are meant to learn more about the links between firefighting and certain types of cancer.

Both Republicans and Democrats have lined up behind the push to create a firefighters cancer registry.

Minnesota's Amy Klobuchar, one of the co-sponsors of the U.S. Senate bill was at a Minneapolis fire station Monday to talk about why she thinks it's needed.

It's no secret that firefighters are often exposed to smoke that contains soot, chemicals, and toxic stuff.

But right now there aren't a lot of numbers for scientists to use to document the connection between those toxins and cancers that firefighters get.

One of the few solid studies came out last year after the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health studied firefighters in three cities for five years. They confirmed that firefighters had higher rates of certain cancers than the general population did – especially mesothelioma, which is caused by exposure to asbestos.

State and national registries

The proposed registries for firefighters would be voluntary and the firefighters would remain anonymous. But the information about their cancer cases would go into databases that researchers could use.

Klobuchar tells FOX 9 a national registry would cost about $2.5 million to set up.

It could include information about people like St. Paul Fire Captain Steve Shapira, a 17-year veteran of the department who's fighting non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Shapira tells WCCO that after 28 months of chemotherapy his medical debts amount to five figures but he does not qualify for worker's comp because the city won't agree that the cancer is work related.

Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, who co-authored the House bill for a national registry, said in a statement the information could lead to better protective equipment and maybe even changes in firefighting techniques to improve safety. His House bill has 76 co-sponsors.

Klobuchar and fellow Minnesotan Al Franken are among 12 co-sponsors in the Senate.

FOX 9 says right now 11 states have firefighter cancer registries.

Rep. Peggy Bennett of Albert Lea has introduced a House bill that would create one for Minnesota. Albert Lea Radio reports three firefighters in that city's department developed cancer with a year, including one who died of brain cancer at age 51.

Next Up

Jeff Gladney

Jeff Gladney's ex-girlfriend files $1 million civil lawsuit

The civil lawsuit accuses Gladney of assaulting the woman for over two hours.

vaccine, covid

St. Paul care home group will mandate COVID vaccines for staff

It comes amid reports of COVID outbreaks at homes where residents are all vaccinated, but staff are not.

Jail handcuffs arrest

Starbuck man charged with uploading, sharing child pornography

The 47-year-old was arrested after a tip from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children.

ambulance

Boy, 11, seriously injured after 'fall' that police now suspect was abuse

It was initially reported that the boy slipped and fell.

police lights

Investigation underway after body found during welfare check in Plato

The identity of the deceased has not yet been revealed.

Mayor Brad Wiersum

'Please, please, please get vaccinated,' Minnetonka mayor pleads

This comes as the local state of emergency officially ends.

YouTube - Jeopardy screengrab minneapolis

Can you answer all the Minneapolis questions from this week's 'Jeopardy?'

KARE personalities including Randy Shaver and Rena Sarigianopoulos presented the clues.

Pexels - woman shop mask covid CROP

35 counties, including most of Twin Cities, now COVID hotspots

The CDC recommends everyone wear a mask in public, indoor places in these counties.

covid, coronavirus

CDC document: Delta variant as contagious as chickenpox

Vaccines remain very effective at preventing severe illness from the delta variant, however.

Flickr - smoke McGregor minnesota wildfire July 29 2021 - Lorie Shaull

'Unprecedented': The wildfire smoke isn't going anywhere this weekend

The air quality alert that was supposed to end Friday is now in effect into early next week.

Alexis Saborit

Charges: Woman killed in horrific Shakopee attack was trying to leave suspect

The shocking incident happened at an intersection Wednesday afternoon.

Related

U of M cancer drug shows promise with dogs; human trials may be next

Researchers tested the drug on a canine cancer very similar to a human one called angiosarcoma.

A look inside Mayo Clinic's gigantic colon – it's for cancer awareness

About 4.4 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with colon and rectum cancer at some point during their lifetime.

MN child obesity rate inching down; it's less than half the grownup rate

Obesity among 2 to 4-year-olds enrolled in a nutrition program went down slightly

After weeks of quiet, Minnesota sees another new measles case

It's associated with the 78 previous cases that made up the outbreak.

Minnesota's measles outbreak has spread to another county

It's now Minnesota's biggest measles outbreak of the last 20 years.

Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 9.49.44 AM

KSTP anchor, reporter reveals cancer diagnosis

Brett Hoffland says he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Mark Dayton will have surgery to remove prostate after cancer diagnosis

The governor revealed his cancer diagnosis last month, a day after collapsing during his State of the State speech.

Now the big health care vote in Congress is set for Friday

The White House says negotiations are over and it's time to approve the bill on the table or let Obamacare stay.