The state Senate has passed a bill championed by an area legislator. Danbury Senator Julie Kushner says the proposal will study cancer relief benefits for firefighters in Connecticut. Kushner says the state needs to better examine the outstanding needs of firefighters given the sacrifices they make for residents safety.
She notes that firefighters who inhale smoke and dangerous chemicals in the act of saving others' lives are more susceptible to cancers.
The bill creates a task force to examine the adequacy of the current firefighters cancer relief program and the possibility of providing additional resources including workers' compensation and other benefits to firefighters diagnosed with cancer acquired as a result of occupational exposure to noxious fumes or poisonous gases. Their report will be due to the General Assembly by the end of the year.
A study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety focused on firefighter cancer concluded that firefighters face a 9 percent increase in cancer diagnoses and a 14 percent increase in cancer-related deaths compared to the general population of the United States.