New 2023 law will come into effect to establish framework for Canadian firefighters and occupational cancer
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Canada has paved the way for many other countries in the world to start recognizing cancer as an occupational illness among firefighters, without the need to prove what caused the cancer.
Bill C-224, an Act to establish a national framework for the prevention and treatment of cancers linked to fire fighting, received royal assent on June 22 and will become law.
Bill C-224 was introduced by Quebec MP Sherry Romanado in January 2022, according to a recent article in FIREFightingInCanada.com.
“Cancer is responsible for over 85 per cent of all duty-related deaths among firefighters in Canada. Awareness, education and information sharing are critical to the prevention and early detection of the cancers linked to fire fighting,” Romanado said in a government press release.
“This bill represents concrete action to better protect the health and safety of the men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe. That it passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate is a testament to the high regard in which our country’s holds its firefighters and the essential work they do.”
Through Bill C-224, starting in 2024, the month of January will be declared “Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month” throughout Canada. This important declaration will raise awareness about cancers linked to fire fighting and best practices to prevent these cancers.
Over the next year, Health Canada plans to develop a national framework that raises awareness of cancers linked to fire fighting. Specifically, Bill C-224 paves the way for Health Canada to support valuable research on the link between certain types of cancer and firefighting.
Photo credit:(Cover photo above) SAC Tim White RAF/MOD. A Royal Air Force firefighter takes part in an exercise at RAF Leuchars in Scotland. Organization: RAF Object Name: is-3464-hr Supplemental Categories: People, Photo Permission details: http://www.defenceimagery.mod.uk for reuse under the OGL (Open Government License).