Last month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed that a total of 39,921 New York City police officers and civilians responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks at Ground Zero. According to a report from The New York Post, the information was given to Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where researchers are studying the health of Ground Zero rescue and recovery workers.
The Mayor also forwarded the job title, age, race and gender of each responder to the School of Medicine. According to the Post, Mount Sinai researcher Philip Landrigan had repeatedly asked the New York Police Department for the information. Landrigan recently submitted a study to a medical journal review which reportedly found a 14 percent increase in cancer rates among rescue workers — particularly prostate, thyroid and certain blood cancers. The study is the largest of its kind, involving 20,000 firefighters and police officers as well as sanitation workers, construction workers and others who assisted at Ground Zero after the terror attack.
Last yea, a study of New York City firefighters published in The Lancet found a 19% increase in cancer overall in those who responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks
As we reported previously, the advisory panel tasked by Congress with making recommendations about which illnesses should be covered under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act’s $2.8 billion Victim Compensation Fund is considering whether or not cancer should be named a covered illness. Cancer is currently excluded from Zadroga Act coverage because of supposedly insufficient scientific proof that exposure to the toxic dust at Ground Zero following the 9/11 terrorism attacks is associated with an increased risk of developing the disease.
According to the Post, Landrigan’s study will ultimately be taken into account when federal officials decide latter this year whether to name cancer a covered illness.
The Zadroga Act advisory panel could make a recommendation by next month about which types of cancer, if any, ought to be covered. Last month, during a hearing convened by the panel, Landrigan spoke in favor of cancer coverage.
“I think that we’ve reached a point… [where] we can say with a high degree of certainty that the exposures that the responders experienced down there at Ground Zero and the other World Trade Center sites, we can reasonably anticipate that those exposures are going to cause cancer,” Landrigan said.