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 May 10, 2018.
Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018
(Sec. 2) This bill requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and maintain a voluntary registry of firefighters in order to collect history and occupational information that can be used to determine the incidence of cancer among firefighters. The registry must be used to improve monitoring of cancer among firefighters and to collect and publish epidemiological information. 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 must enable the registry to connect to state-based cancer registries.
The CDC must also: (1) develop a strategy to encourage participation in the registry, (2) develop guidance for states and firefighting agencies regarding the registry, and (3) seek feedback on the registry from nonfederal experts.
The CDC must make registry data available to the public and in accordance with privacy laws.