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Vt. governor signs firefighter cancer law

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MONTPELIER, Vt.—Gov. Jim Douglas signed workers compensation benefits legislation on Tuesday that presumes various cancers contracted by firefighters are job related.

The new law puts the burden on employers and insurers to prove the cancers are not related to firefighters' work. It covers leukemia, lymphoma, and cancers originating in the bladder, brain, colon, gastrointestinal tract, kidney, liver pancreas, skin or testicles.

Firefighters diagnosed with one of the cancers are eligible to receive benefits for up to 10 years after retirement.