Group Wants State Support for Firefighters With Cancer

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) - A group of firefighters and their supporters in northern Ohio want cancer to be considered a work-related illness for firefighters, just like heart and lung diseases.

That change would spare firefighters from having to fight for state benefits while battling cancer.

A new study found firefighters are more likely to develop certain kinds of cancers after encountering cancer-causing agents - benzene, diesel engine exhaust, chloroform, soot, styrene and formaldehyde - at fire scenes.

Twenty-two states now have workers' compensation laws that presume that when firefighters develop cancer, it's a result of the chemicals, smoke and fumes they encountered on their jobs.

The group is pushing for legislation that would help cover Ohio's firefighters too.