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Lopez Statement on Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018

“Firefighters Save Lives While Posing Threat to Their Own”

After giving testimony Monday regarding A-4285, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018, Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D-Middlesex), whose district has witnessed two three-alarm fires in the past two weeks, issued the following statement:

“Like so many first responders, firefighters have the daunting responsibility of saving lives while posing a tremendous threat to their own. Each day that they go to work, they carry the burden of knowing that, unlike most professions, they could be leaving their spouse, child, parent, friend or other loved one for the last time.

“Yet because of their selfless commitment to their profession, firefighters see this burden as more of a mission and a calling–one they carry fearlessly with honor, compassion and out of a sense of duty.

“Firefighters’ devotion to their duties is even more reason why supporting the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018 is crucial. These courageous men and women are not merely exposed to acute risks like fire. They are also exposed, at much higher rates, to known and suspected carcinogens, such as polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCBs, that are released from leaks or fires in electrical equipment, and dioxin, a dangerous byproduct of combustion.

“This registry will help us better understand the causes and outcomes of cancer in the fire services and ultimately, identify ways to mitigate and prevent it from occurring.”

Photo (Facebook and Twitter): Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D-Middlesex) with representatives from the New Jersey State Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association and the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey after her testimony.