HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - As we first told you last year, cancer rates among firefighters are skyrocketing. Now the government is taking steps to help keep those who run into danger safer by creating a database to track cancer rates.
Today, things found in your house are made from synthetic materials, plastics, foams and coatings containing carcinogens and toxins. Experts say that makes them hundreds of times more toxic when they burn, and it puts firefighters at risk of getting cancer. The International Association of Firefighters reports cancer rates among firefighters are skyrocketing.
"We know when we got into the profession that we're going to be running into danger when everybody else is running out. However, some of the hazards that we have encountered through the years we've been able to overcome. This is one we haven't," said Capt. Rusty Lowe with the Hoover Fire Department.
The government is now tracking cancer rates after President Trump signed the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, which helps provide resources for research into hazards firefighters face on the job. We're told firefighters will voluntarily enter their health information into a national database that hopes to better determine their cancer risk.
"This is going to prove what we think that there is a higher incident of cancer in firefighters than other occupations and we can prove that is it an occupational hazard. It will help us in the future to do more research and offer more protection for our firefighters," Lowe said.
You can find more on the cancer registry act here.