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9/11 Responders Have Higher Rates of Leukemia, Study Suggests

9/11 Responders Have Higher Rates of Leukemia, Study Suggests

For several years, the news has been filled with stories about medical problems linked to breathing the contaminated air around the World Trade Center site following the September 11, 2001 attacks. The reauthorization of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund has put the spotlight on heroes who died prematurely due to respiratory illness, prostate cancer and other conditions associated with the Ground Zero cleanup. New research reported in a medical journal supports earlier suspicions that leukemia is among the conditions afflicting first responders and others.

The JNCI Cancer Spectrum has published a study showing a statistically significant increase in leukemia among World Trade Center first responders evaluated over approximately 12 years. This illness, which affects blood-forming tissue, joins the other types of cancers that have been identified as specific risks, such as thyroid cancer, multiple myeloma and prostate cancer. The finding still requires further review, but if you are concerned about contracting 9/11-related leukemia, some information is available:

  • Benzene exposure — Researchers have pinpointed an increased incidence of leukemia of individuals with uncommonly high exposure to benzene, a component of jet fuel. As the tanks of both planes that hit the Twin Towers were nearly full, benzene released in the explosions was likely among the dangerous toxins around Ground Zero.
  • Symptoms and testing — Leukemia symptoms can vary and be difficult to identify. Even if you have not noticed anything wrong, the World Trade Center Health Program offers free medical monitoring from approved providers for this and other problems potentially connected to exposure to contaminated air in the months following September 11, 2001.
  • Possible alternative explanations — Some other studies that were conducted did not find an additional leukemia presence among first responders. This could be explained by small sample sizes or the disease’s long incubation period. Some medical professionals question whether the heavy focus on monitoring Ground Zero recovery workers explains the higher incidence of leukemia diagnoses.

Coverage under the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund is available to individuals in the World Trade Center exposure zone who have been stricken with leukemia or other diseases contracted after the 2001 attacks. A New York lawyer familiar with VCF claims can advise you of the steps required to assert your rights as a victim or as a family member of someone who has died from such a disease.

Barasch & McGarry has a strong track record of securing compensation for people suffering from 9/11 illnesses and their loved ones. Please call 888-351-9421 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with of our attorneys.

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  • "If I could give them six stars I would...don't even bother talking to anyone else concerning 9/11. The whole team worked night and day to deliver an outstanding settlement. They are honest, hard working and extremely professional. Just make the one phone call and let them do the rest." - Les Margulis, resident in the exposure zone

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  • "The people at this firm were just great. They were concern with making sure I was taken care of in every way possible. When I was given an award Mr. Barasch didn't think it was a fair amount and appealed the decision which got me a larger award. I am very satisfied with everything they did for me in the past and are willing to do for me and my family in the future." - Bob Wiecezak, FDNY-Retired

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  • Deadline Extended to Register for Compensation


    There is still time to apply for significant compensation if you have been diagnosed with any of the 68 cancers that doctors at the WTC Health Program (WTCHP) have linked to the WTC toxic dust. The deadline to apply to the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is two years from the date that a cancer has been certified by the WTC Health Program — or any other governmental agency. The two-year period to register doesn’t start on the day of a cancer diagnosis. Rather, it starts only when a cancer survivor is made aware their cancer was linked to exposure to the WTC toxins.

    For those who died from their WTC-linked cancers, the two-year period for their family to register starts on the day of the death of the WTC victim.

    Register For Compensation

Please help spread the word about the strict two-year deadline to register a claim

Many people have tried to complete the VCF application on their own, only to learn that it requires answers to hundreds of questions and many documents to download. It would be our pleasure to help you complete the process in order to ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to. Please call us for a free consultation.

Let a knowledgeable attorney help you figure it out

A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying. You undoubtedly have questions about your disease and how you will pay for treatment. Lawyers at Barasch & McGarry ensure you understand the complex requirements and help devise the best strategies for obtaining compensation and appropriate medical care under the Zadroga Act. Contact our law firm online or call 888-351-9421. The initial consultation is free, so it costs you nothing to find out whether a lawyer can help.
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