In September 2012, Dr. John Howard — Administrator for the World Trade Center Health Program and Director of the National Institute on Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) — announced that NIOSH would add 50 different cancers to the list of illnesses eligible for no-cost treatment by the WTC Health Program. This rule becomes final on October 12, 2012, meaning that rescue and recovery workers, utility workers, Lower Manhattan residents, workers and school children suffering from cancer as the probable result of their exposure to toxic substances after the attacks can finally get the health care they need at no cost to themselves.
People exposed to WTC dust, smoke and detritus after 9/11 who suffer from particular cancers specified in the final rule may contact their current Clinical Center of Excellence (CCE) to begin the process of certifying their cancers as WTC-related and therefore eligible for free medical care through the WTC Health Program. These cancers include malignant neoplasms of the following:
- Nose and sinus area
- Stomach and digestive system, including the colon and the liver
- Diaphragm and chest cavity
- Heart, lungs and related areas
- Skin and soft tissues
- Breast and ovaries
- Kidneys and bladder
- Blood and lymphoid tissues, including lymphoma and leukemia
Also included are all childhood cancers and rare cancers.
If you are not a member of the WTC Health Program but believe you may be eligible for treatment, you can apply through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you are already a member of the WTC Health Program but remain uncertain as to which CCE should cover your care, you may contact the CDC at (888) 982-4748. The knowledgeable attorneys of Barasch & McGarry can help.