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WTC Health ProgramVictim Compensation FundZadroga Act

Study to Examine 9/11 Risks for Children and Young Adults

November 9, 2023 | Michael Barasch

A new study by the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program will examine the long-term health of survivors aged 21 years or younger at the time of the 9/11 attacks who were exposed to Ground Zero toxins in Lower Manhattan.

Many of these young survivors were living in area neighborhoods including Two Bridges, TriBeCa, Battery Park City, and parts of Chinatown and the Lower East Side.

In addition to residents, there were also thousands of students attending schools near the World Trade Center Site, such as Stuyvesant High School and Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers, as well as the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

The study, known as the 9/11 Youth Research Cohort, has been collecting information from educators, scientists, and community members in preparation to track the health of young 9/11 survivors.

Barasch & McGarry, Lawyers for the 9/11 Community, represents more than 35,000 members of the 9/11 community, among them more than 1,000 people who were 21 year-of-age or younger on 9/11.

Today, more than 22 years after 9/11, fewer than 10% of survivors (people living, working, or studying in Lower Manhattan on and after 9/11) are registered with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, compared with more than 80% of responders.

Exposure to Ground Zero toxins increases the risk of 69 different types of cancer and many respiratory illnesses.

If you were there in Lower Manhattan, you have the right to register with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) – even if you are currently healthy – and enroll in the WTC Health Program if you are diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness.

The health program provides free, comprehensive medical care to 9/11 responders and survivors for their 9/11-related illnesses, at hospitals in New York City and across the United States.

The victim fund offers tax-free awards for pain and suffering, lost earnings, and benefits for surviving spouses and family members.

For the WTC Health Program, the exposure zone consists of all of Manhattan below Houston Street and parts of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO in Brooklyn.

For the 9/11 VCF, the exposure zone includes the area of Manhattan south of Canal Street and west of Clinton Street.

Remember that if you are diagnosed with any 9/11-related cancer or respiratory illness, your family medical history and pre-existing conditions will not affect your eligibility for free health care or compensation. 

Early detection could save your life. Protect yourself and your family.

Barasch & McGarry can help you register with the 9/11 VCF. Please contact us by visiting or calling 212-385-8000.

If you prefer to register directly with the 9/11 VCF, visit

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