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9/11 Respiratory Diseases Widespread and Chronic

Within months after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, many first responders began experiencing hard coughing, followed by a loss of breath. This coughing caused throat irritation. Another related symptom was acid reflux, or heartburn. World Trade Center (WTC) cough was the first 9/11-related injury to be recognized. This was only one of the chronic, debilitating respiratory illnesses that have emerged in the decade following the event.

Mt. Sinai Medical Center published the results of a large-scale study of 10,000 rescue workers in 2006 that found respiratory problems in 70 percent of this population, including:

  • Dry cough
  • Chest tightness
  • Throat irritation
  • Diminished lung capacity
  • Sinusitis
  • Asthma
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Upper respiratory problems, such as sinusitis — sinus inflammation caused by an allergy or auto-immune reaction, and throat irritation were reported by 62.5 percent of study participants. A smaller percent, 46.5, experienced lower airway symptoms, such as the chest tightness, dry cough and wheezing associated with WTC cough.

A 2010 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found a substantial loss of lung function in firefighters and EMS personnel who were on site in the first weeks after 9/11. More disturbing, there was little improvement six years after exposure, suggesting that the damage was permanent.

These studies focused on rescue workers, but anyone who lived or worked in the vicinity of ground zero is at risk for pulmonary illness or other diseases. They may be eligible for financial relief so they can get the medical care they need.

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Compensation available to residents and office workers, teachers and students – not just responders and volunteers
Deadline Extended To Register Claims Must file within 2 years from the date your cancer was linked to WTC toxic dust
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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.

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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.

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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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