There is a growing risk of mesothelioma and other cancers for 9/11 rescue workers and first responders. When the twin towers collapsed, approximately 400 tons of asbestos were released into the air and inhaled by rescue workers. Recently, medical experts reported that over 2,500 WTC victims have been diagnosed with cancer.
On July 27th, the New York Post reported that 1,140 were reported to have cancer last year, meaning that number has more than doubled. According to the information submitted to the World Trade Center Health Program at Mount Sinai, the number includes police officers, firefights, EMTs, sanitation workers and other employees. The Post also reported on May 6th that the number of police officers who died in the aftermath are now greater than those who died in the attacks. When the towers collapsed, 60 police officers died; now, 71 have died of illness or injuries related to WTC exposure.
The Zadroga Act provides compensation to those who become ill or were injured due to the 9/11 attacks. An important deadline is now approaching for some victims. Anyone diagnosed with a cancer listed as eligible under the Zadroga Act must file by October 12, 2014 if they were diagnosed before October 12, 2012. Those who were diagnosed after must file within two years of diagnosis.
So far, 15,6000 forms have been reviwed by the VCF, according to the June 30 VCF Program Statistics. A decision can be made for 56 percent (8,699) and the rest need more information for review. A total of $322,462,945 have been rendered for 1,145 cases. The awards range from over $4 million to $10,000,with the amounts varying based on severity of illness and amount of exposure.