H.R. 931 requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and maintain a registry to collect data regarding the incidence of cancer in firefighters. This bill authorizes $10 million for fiscal years 2018-2022 to carry out those activities.
Firefighters may experience detrimental health effects due to smoke inhalation and other harmful substances. A 2015 study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that firefighters in the U.S. have a greater number of cancer diagnoses and cancer-related deaths. H.R. 931 seeks to establish and improve collection activities to collect a greater abundance of data and assist in developing new protocols and safeguards to protect firefighters.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 12, 2017.
Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2017
(Sec. 2) This bill requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and maintain a voluntary registry of firefighters to collect history and occupational information that can be linked to existing data in state cancer registries. The registry must be used to improve monitoring of cancer among firefighters and to collect and publish epidemiological information regarding cancer among firefighters. The CDC should seek to include specified information in the registry, including the number and type of fire incidents attended by an individual.
To collect information for the registry, the CDC may incorporate questions into existing public health surveys, questionnaires, and other databases.
The CDC must: (1) develop a strategy to maximize participation in the registry; (2) develop guidance for states and firefighting agencies regarding the registry; (3) encourage inclusion in the registry of data on minority, female, and volunteer firefighters; and (4) seek feedback on the registry from nonfederal experts.
The CDC must develop a process for making registry data available for research without a fee if findings or publications from the research are made public or available to stakeholders.
(Sec. 3) This bill amends the Public Health Service Act to reduce FY2018 funding for revitalization of CDC facilities.