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House passes Collins bill calling for study of cancer among firefighters

WASHINGTON — The House on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill introduced by Rep. Chris Collins that would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a registry of firefighters who get cancer.

Collins' bill, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, would authorize $2 million in federal funding a year for five years to develop the registry, which is seen as the first step in bolstering federal research into the detrimental health effects that firefighters may experience because of their work.

“Sixteen years ago yesterday, on September 11th, 2001, we witnessed a horrible tragedy that will leave an impression on generations of Americans forever,” said Collins, a Clarence Republican. “Through this tragedy, we witnessed the heroic actions of America’s brave first responders working and volunteering in the days and weeks to come. We lost many first responders during those attacks of 9/11 and we continue to lose more every year from ongoing health effects."

Collins' legislation still must pass the Senate to become law.

Similar Senate legislation sponsored by Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., has 38 co-sponsors but is awaiting action in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

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