Feinstein Provision to Investigate Military Aviators’ Cancer Risk Included in Defense Bill
Dec 04 2020
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today announced that the Military Aviators Cancer Incidence Study Act was included in the National Defense Authorization Act, which is expected to be voted on by the House and Senate next week.
The Feinstein-authored provision directs the military to conduct a study comparing cancer prevalence among military aviators and aviation support personnel to that of the general population.
Feinstein introduced the Military Aviators Cancer Incidence Study Act earlier this year after reporting by McClatchy suggested that military aviators may be at higher risk of developing certain cancers.
“If military aviators and air crew are suffering higher rates of cancer in the course of carrying out their duties, then we have to figure out the cause and address it immediately,” said Feinstein. “This bill will direct the Defense Department to study the issue and investigate any potential source. I’m pleased this bill was included in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act and urge Congress to act quickly and send it to the president’s desk so that we can get to work on this important issue.”
In addition to Feinstein, the Military Aviators Cancer Incidence Study Act was cosponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.).
Full text of the bill is available here.
The bill would do the following:
- Require the Department of Defense to conduct a study to determine if there is a higher incidence of cancer among military aviators as compared to similar age groups in the general population.
- Require that, if the study determines a higher rate of cancer among military aviators, the department would then have to identify carcinogens associated with military flight operations, environments where aviators might have been exposed to increased radiation and military locations with higher incidences of cancer.
The Military Aviators Cancer Incidence Study Act is supported by the following organizations: American Veterans (AMVETS), Association of the U.S. Navy (AUSN), BurnPits 360, California Communities Against Toxics (CCAT), Cease Fire Campaign, Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service (COAUSPHS), Dixon Center for Military and Veteran Services, Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS), Fleet Reserve Association, HunterSeven Foundation, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Life Aid Resilience Research Initiative, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Military Veterans Advocacy, National Guard Association of the United States, National Veterans Legal Services Program, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association, Reserve Organization of America, Stronghold Freedom Foundation, Task Force Dagger Foundation, The Enlisted Association (TREA), The Independence Fund, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), United Soldiers and Sailors of America, Veteran Warriors, Veterans Families for Exposure Awareness (VFEA), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Vets First, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).