NLC Calls for Cancer Registry for Firefighters, PPE Care

In the wake of its report calling for more study to address the lack of conclusive data in determining possible links between those currently serving as firefighters and specific cancers, the Washington, D.C.-based National League of Cities issued a statement encouraging its members to remain attentive to the health, safety and well-being of employees. NLC describes itself as a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns, and villages and says it represents more than 218 million Americans.

“Even in these difficult economic times, cities must appropriately allocate resources to protect all employees from potential on-the-job dangers,” the group said in the statement. “NLC recognizes that firefighters and other public employees encounter hazardous conditions on the job every day. These dangers can be life threatening and it is important for all employees to have the equipment and training necessary to adequately safeguard against these threats. Furthermore, city employees must be vigilant about using that equipment properly. With proper care, many on–the-job risks can be mitigated.”

To assist with determining if there is a link between specific cancers and firefighting, NLC said it supports a federal registry for firefighter cancers and collaborative research efforts on firefighting and cancer. “We welcome an opportunity to work with firefighter organizations, governmental groups, and other interested parties to address these issues,” the group said in the statement. “It is imperative that cities and their employees work together to mitigate the risks faced by all employees, even if health hazards can never be eliminated. NLC calls on its members and their employees to focus on determining the best ways to safeguard employees given the resources available.”

For more information on NLC, visit its Web site at

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