April 20, 2024

More States Consider Cancer Presumptions for Firefighters

Over the last several years, there has been a steady increase in cancer presumptions for firefighter populations, and so far this year, several states have either enacted or proposed additional presumptions.

As part of the recently enacted state budget bill, Connecticut approved a new workers’ comp presumption for firefighters with cancer diagnoses that are a result of their hazardous occupation, unless proven otherwise.

Governor Mark Gordon signed Wyoming House Bill 66 into law, allowing firefighters to undergo annual cancer screenings under workers’ comp, presuming they are regularly exposed to cancer-causing agents during the scope of employment. Screenings would be allowed to continue up to 10 years after a firefighter retires.

South Dakota Senate Bill 114 was recently introduced, written to offer workers’ comp coverage to firefighters who develop cancer, lymphoma, or leukemia that may be caused to exposure to heat, smoke, radiation, or a known or suspected carcinogen as determined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. This presumption would not apply to firefighters who were regular tobacco users for ten or more years, or who were regular tobacco users for ten or more years and it has been fewer than ten years since quitting.

Hawaii House Bill 1889 would expand the state’s cancer presumption for firefighters to include breast and ovarian cancer.

Maryland House Bill 584 would add thyroid, colon, and ovarian cancer to the state’s list of 10 already accepted types of cancer for firefighters.

Arizona House Bill 2117 would add reoccurrence of a previously diagnosed cancer already on the list of eight cancers.

Missouri House Bill 2817 would expand the definition of occupational carcinoma to include additional types of cancers, covering cancers that affect the skin, central nervous, lymphatic, digestive, hematological, urinary, skeletal, oral, breast, testicular, genitourinary, liver, or prostate systems, as well as any condition of cancer that may result from exposure to heat absorption, inhalation, ingestion, or radiation.

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