Youngstown firefighters welcome law granting benefits covering j - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown firefighters welcome law granting benefits covering job-related cancers

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

They protect us, now a new law will protect them.  Firefighters in Ohio, disabled as a result of cancer linked to their job, will now receive workmen compensation.

"We are seeing a lot of that stuff being absorbed through the skin, not just inhalation so much, but it is being absorbed through your skin," said Chris Weaver with the I.A.F.F. Local 312.

Studies show firefighters are at a higher risk of developing cancers due to the carcinogens they're exposed to while on the job.  Weaver says a number of local firefighters have retired early and quit because of their diagnosis.

"They love going this job and this profession and then something like this tragically happens and it is like, 'Wow.  What am I going to do now?'  So, it is tough on the and their families and everything like that too," said Weaver.

It's unclear if this new law will be retroactive, providing benefits to firefighters who've been diagnosed in the past.  However, it will be common practice moving forward.

There are limitations to the law.  Firefighter must have been on hazardous duty for at least six years when exposed to the toxins.  A claim can be denied if a firefighter's cancer is link to tobacco use.  Coverage will not be provided to firefighters over the age of 70. Firefighters who've been away from the job for more than 20 years will not receive benefits.

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