It has been nearly 14 years since the infamous terrorist attacks of September 11, 2011. However, the devastating impact of those attacks continues for many first responders who were on the scene in the days and weeks that followed 9/11. These emergency workers have been plagued by both physical and mental health problems, many of which persist to this day.
Despite the time that has passed, almost 17 percent of those who were present at Ground Zero continue to display symptoms of depression, and 7 percent exhibit signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine recently published these findings, demonstrating the need for further treatment to address the emotional scars caused by the attacks.
Facing a variety of issues
Mental health concerns are not the only problems affecting first responders. In fact, a large percentage of these workers have also struggled with various physical health conditions, including cancer and respiratory disorders. About 12 percent of these workers have experienced symptoms of acid reflux disease and 3 percent have been diagnosed with cancer. The evidence also suggests that emergency workers who responded earlier following the attacks are at a greater risk for developing health complications.
Although there is a large body of evidence supporting the concept that police officers and firefighters have suffered adverse effects from their role on and after 9/11, this is the first study to specifically examine the health impact on EMS workers. The findings underscore the importance of continued health monitoring to aid in the early detection of health problems.
The terrorist attacks of 9/11 have impacted individuals in many ways, including in the form of physical and mental health issues. If you need legal assistance related to the conditions you’ve experienced, call on the compassionate lawyers at Barasch, McGarry Salzman & Penson in New York.