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WTC Health Program

WTC Health Program Declines to Add Parkinson’s Disease to List of 9/11-Related Conditions

October 15, 2017 | Michael Barasch

On July 13, 2017, the Administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program denied two petitions that sought to have Parkinson’s disease and manganese-induced parkinsonism added to the center’s List of WTC-Related Health Conditions. Under the review process established by the Zadroga Act, medical evidence must show a “health condition is substantially likely to be causally associated with 9/11 exposure.” The two petitions from 9/11 survivors met the threshold test in that they “suggested a potential association between exposure to known 9/11 agents and Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonism, including manganese-induced parkinsonism,” but ultimately were rejected for insufficient evidence of causation.

Each petition included peer-reviewed, published, epidemiologic studies of the association of various Parkinson conditions with heavy metal exposure. However, the Administrator felt the petitions were inadequate, because they did not cite such studies among 9/11 survivors. And the Administrator could not find any “peer-reviewed, published, epidemiologic studies of Parkinson’s disease or parkinsonism, including manganese-induced parkinsonism, in 9/11 populations.”

However, in denying the petitions, the Administrator refused to rule out a causal connection to Parkinson’s disease or its related conditions. The question will simply exist in legal limbo until further data is available.

It is not unusual for a condition to meet with resistance before being added to the list. Officials resisted adding prostate cancer until the number of survivors afflicted with the disease reached levels they could no longer ignore. Over time, the number of recognized cancers has grown to 68. It is entirely possible that more survivors will contract a Parkinson’s condition, allowing a study of the 9/11 population to firmly establish a connection.

Unfortunately, while the condition’s listing is in limbo, so are the patients suffering from Parkinson’s. They must rely on their own health insurance to pay for treatment and cannot receive compensation from the Victim Compensation Fund.

If you have questions about your eligibility for WTC health benefits and compensation, contact our experienced attorneys who have represented 9/11 survivors from the outset. Call Barasch & McGarry at [ln::phone] or contact our office online.

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18 replies on “WTC Health Program Declines to Add Parkinson’s Disease to List of 9/11-Related Conditions”

I am a retired Firefighter who was very active during 9/11. I was diagnosed with Parkinsons 2/2009 when I turned 50 years old. I have no familial history . I go to a program for Parkinsons called Rock Steady Boxing. The coach told me she has two other firemen in the night class just diagnosed with Parkinsons as well. Please keep me posted as to wether or not Parkinsons will be added to the list. My Neuroligist said being exposed to toxins puts one at great risk.

I was down to ground zero as a NYANG volunteer. Ten years later at the age of 34, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I also have no familial history and DNA tested for no known PD genes. I am registered as a WTC responder and I hope our cases are being tallied for the collective good. Thank you for not forgetting us.

I worked for a company called Arbros Communications at 75 Broad Street in NYC on 911 .I had an appointment and was on my way to the trade center when the first plane hit the building. I ran towards the bridge ended up in Brooklyn. Few weeks later I was back in my office .not long after the company filed for bankruptcy
Now I have Parkinson’s disease and I am very certain that it is due in part to the condition caused from the environmental toxic of the world trade center

I was in the first tower..diagnosed by WTC with ptsd .. had a stroke 2016 , have an immune disorder that may have caused the stroke, and in dec 2019 diagnosed with PD…no family history at all..I continued to live 3 blocks from the the site for 2 years..looking in every night

I worked a couple blocks away from the the towers on 9/11 and was back at work three days later. Wtc dust caked our windows. I still work in the same office. I was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s at age 59 but neurologist said I have had it for about 4 years . I have no family history. I have a NYS ERS presumption letter.

My husband Adrian Keenan retired Lt. from NyFD died on April 8th. Please let me know if there has been any progress in adding Parkinson’s Disease to the WTC list. He was only 65 years old. We are heartbroken.

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