Murkowski Applauds Firefighter Cancer Registry Now Law

Reducing Cancer Risk for Our Nation’s Heroes

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) applauded the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act being signed into law, bipartisan legislation which creates a national registry for firefighters diagnosed with cancer. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski was an original cosponsor of the bill. The bill directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study the relationship between career-long exposure to dangerous toxins and fumes and the frequency of cancer in firefighters to determine if there is a link.

“Each day, firefighters sacrifice their safety for communities across Alaska and the entire nation. Cancer is an added danger that they simply should not have to face. Creating this registry will help pinpoint common links to cancer at a national level, allowing us to better protect firefighters across our nation,” said Senator Murkowski. “My decision to be the lead Republican on this bill in the Senate was inspired by Anchorage firefighter Andy Mullen, a strong advocate for firefighter concerns, who ultimately lost his life from a battle with cancer caused by exposure to toxins from electrical wires from a brush fire. I am hopeful that the data gathered through this law will help improve fire ground safety and prevent stories like Andy’s from being repeated again.”

Bill Highlights:

  • Collects and consolidates epidemiological information submitted by healthcare professionals regarding cancer incidence among firefighters, both paid and volunteer.
  • Improves our understanding of cancer incidence and potentially results in the upgrade of safety protocols as more data is accrued.
  • Requires administrators to consult regularly with epidemiologists, public health experts, clinicians, and firefighters to ensure the effectiveness of the registry.
  • Makes de-identified data available to public health researchers to provide them with robust and comprehensive datasets to expand research.