In the course of their work, firefighters are exposed to many cancer-causing materials, such as asbestos, according to Doug Stern of the Ohio Professional Fire Fighters.
“…We’re exposed to a toxic soup of chemicals and combustion byproducts linked to cancer,” Stern previously told the Journal-News. “The reality is many of our friends and colleagues are dying with their boots off, and contracting occupationally related cancers far too young of an age with more aggressive types of cancers.”
The law is named after Palumbo, a Cleveland-area fire captain who is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was at the bill signing along with his family.
Harris said the law is the “most important piece of legislation to pass through the Statehouse in 30 years for firefighters.”
While some lawmakers expressed concerns about the strain the measure could put on municipalities’ budgets, it gained approval in both the House and Senate.
Stern said the law will only apply to firefighters diagnosed with certain types of cancer, such as lung, prostate or brain cancers and leukemia.
Firefighters who smoke, are over the age of 75, or who served less than three years would also be exempt from additional benefits under the law, according to Stern.