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Firefighter Health: The Debate on Presumptive Cancer

By P. Jordan Steel Utter the words “presumptive cancer law” and many firefighters can tell you instantly whether their state offers this legal protection to its firefighters; this is because the majority of states in the U.S. as well as provinces in Canada offer protection to their firefighters by having laws in place that say certain types of cancer are presumed to be job related unless evidence is offered that proves otherwise. These laws vary. For many, there are waiting periods that requires an individual to have been employed five or possibly 10 years before the protection is in effect. Other states have laws that only require that a firefighter was found to be cancer free in a pre...

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