Just two days prior to the 15th anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center, the New York City Health Department released a summary of five recent research articles on the long-term health impacts to rescue and recovery workers and civilian survivors enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Registry. The findings were published in a special 9/11 issue of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. Key findings in the reports were as follows:
- More cases of cancer than anticipated — Compared to the general population of New York State from 2007 to 2011, rescue and recovery workers were 11 percent more likely to contract cancers while civilian survivors were eight percent more likely. Prostate cancer contributed significantly to these increased rates.
- Asthma and PTSD associated with GERD symptoms — Health registry enrollees diagnosed with asthma and/or post-traumatic stress disorder were also seen to be suffering from persistent gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms, either shortly after 9/11 or years later.
- Early retirement for 9/11 workers — Workers with chronic health conditions related to 9/11 were more likely to experience early retirement or job loss, especially if the worker was diagnosed with PTSD.
- PTSD more likely in Tower responders — Health registry enrollees who were present at the Twin Towers at the time of the attack were 30 percent more likely to experience PTSD and 50 percent more likely to develop drinking problems 10 years later.
- Asthma prevalent among Fresh Kills Landfill workers — WTC recovery workers on barges and at the Fresh Kills Landfill had an increased risk of new-onset asthma.
As James Zadroga’s attorneys, who fought for the law that bears his name, we support the Health Department’s efforts to understand the full scope of destruction 9/11 has wrought. These studies confirm what we sensed early on, that the loss of life on September 11 was only the beginning of a long, slow, destructive process that we as a nation need to address. We hope these studies will make it easier for affected survivors to get the medical care and other benefits they deserve.
If you have questions about your eligibility for Zadroga Act benefits, contact the experienced attorneys who have represented 9/11 survivors from the outset. Call Barasch, McGarry, Salzman & Penson at [ln::phone] or contact our office online.