Posts Tagged ‘9/11’

Claims for September 11th Victims Compensation Fund must be filed by October 12

11 Sep 2014 by Wendi Lewis under Events, Legal, News

twin towers collapse Claims for September 11th Victims Compensation Fund must be filed by October 12An important deadline is approaching for people diagnosed with related to exposure to toxins at Ground Zero at the World Trade Center in City, at the Pentagon, or in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001, following the terrorist attacks and plane crashes at those sites. In order to file a claim with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, individual must register with the fund by October 12, 2014. (more…)


9/11 first responders, workers continue to fall ill as 12th anniversary of tragedy is marked

11 Sep 2013 by Wendi Lewis under Events, Legal, News, People

firefighters at WTC site 100x100 9/11 first responders, workers continue to fall ill as 12th anniversary of tragedy is markedToday Americans pause to remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001, when terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in City, and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., along with a failed attempt that downed a jetliner in a field in Pennsylvania, changed our nation forever. But as we stop to think of those who lost their lives on that day, the lingering effects of toxic debris at Ground Zero in continue to plague and workers who cleared the debris. Many others also were exposed to toxins at the Pentagon and the plane crash site. (more…)


Memorial service today for Dr. Stephen Levin, advocate for 9/11 worker health

21 Feb 2012 by Wendi Lewis under Events, News, People, Research/Treatment

stephen m levin md 100x100 Memorial service today for Dr. Stephen Levin, advocate for 9/11 worker healthA memorial service is set for today, Feb. 21, 2012, for Dr. Stephen Levin, who was instrumental in addressing the needs of and other workers whose health was negatively affected during the events of . Dr. Levin passed away Feb. 7 at age 70 at his home in Uppper Grandview, . The memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. ET at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s Stern Auditorium, 1468 Madison Avenue at East 100th Street, , NY. (more…)


Listen to an interview with lead author of NYFD cancer study

11 Sep 2011 by Wendi Lewis under News, Research/Treatment

fdny logo Listen to an interview with lead author of NYFD cancer studyEarlier this month, in anticipation of the 10th anniversary of , The Lancet published a study of cancer risk in New York City firefighters who were to Ground Zero at the World Trade Center (WTC). The study, conducted seven years after the attacks, was both the “first firefighter study on the effects of and , but it is also the largest firefighter study ever done,” according to Dr. David J. Prezant, Chief Medical Officer at the NYFD and the lead author of the study. (more…)


People exposed to toxins at WTC site during 9/11 call for cancer coverage

10 Sep 2011 by Wendi Lewis under Legal, News

firefighters at WTC site 100x100 People exposed to toxins at WTC site during 9/11 call for cancer coverageIn the wake of several new studies that indicate an increased risk of among firefighters and others exposed to toxins at the World Trade Center site during , there is an outcry to include among the conditions eligible for coverage by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. (more…)


Studies continue to show increased cancer risk for 9/11 first responders

9 Sep 2011 by Wendi Lewis under Events, News, Research/Treatment

fdny logo Studies continue to show increased cancer risk for 9/11 first respondersResearch conducted by the Fire Department of the City of (FDNY), and published by The Lancet, provides evidence of an increased risk for cancers of all types among firefighters who were on . The findings were released on Sept. 3, as American began to reflect on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. This particular study focused on rescue workers who responded to the attack on the World Trade Center in City. (more…)


Study reveals persistent, significant reduction in lung function for 9/11 responders, workers

8 Apr 2010 by Wendi Lewis under Events, Legal, News, Research/Treatment

firefighters at WTC site 100x100 Study reveals persistent, significant reduction in lung function for 9/11 responders, workersA study published today in The New England Journal of Medicine reveals that Fire Department of (FDNY) firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) workers who responded to the attacks at the World Trade Center have suffered significant, persistent declines in lung functions. According to the report, exposure to World Trade Center dust created when the towers collapsed led to “large declines” in lung functions for FDNY rescue workers during the first year, and that “the declines were persistent, without recovery over the next 6 years, leaving a substantial proportion of workers with abnormal lung function.”

The study included 12,781 workers who were present at the WTC site between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 24, 2001, which is 91.6 percent of the workers that were present. The report notes that the event exposed the workers – as well as those living and working in the surrounding area – to a dense cloud of pulverized building materials and chemical byproducts, including pulverized glass and cement, insulation fibers including asbestos, and toxic chemicals.

According to a report in The New York Times that summarizes the study findings, this is the first study to document long-term harm in a large group of firefighters and emergency medical workers who worked at Ground Zero. All of the subjects of the study had had previous lung function tests, providing a baseline for the study.

The study was authored by Dr. David J. Prezant, chief medical officer in the Office of Medical Affairs at the Fire Department. The study was approved by the institutional review board at Montefiore Medical Center.

Results of the study revealed that firefighters, who had heavier exposure to dust by the nature of their work had greater first-year declines than EMS personnel, especially for firefighters who were present in the morning on , when the dust cloud was most intense after the buildings fell. However, researchers noted they were surprised to see “little or no recovery of average lung function during the 6-year follow-up period.” In fact, they noted continued decline in lung function among the study groups.

Normally, the study notes, “smoke inhalation during firefighting causes relatively mild and reversible respiratory impairment.” Additionally, according to the report, long-term effects of firefighting on pulmonary function also are normally mild.

The average loss of lung function for rescue workers is about 10 percent. Most of the loss occurred within the first year after exposure, with little or no subsequent recovery.

Thousands of workers injured at Ground Zero have been fighting for compensation from the City of . Last month about 10,000 plaintiffs reached a settlement agreement totaling $657.5 million, but a judge rejected the settlement shortly afterward, saying it did not provide enough compensation for the plaintiffs. The matter is now back in negotiations, and a new hearing is set for Monday, according to the Times.


9/11 rescue, cleanup workers reach health care settlement with City

12 Mar 2010 by Wendi Lewis under Events, Legal, News

workers at WTC 100x100 9/11 rescue, cleanup workers reach health care settlement with CityA story published by the New York Times reports thousands of rescue and cleanup workers who were exposed to the toxic air at Ground Zero after the tragedy at the World Trade Center have reached a settlement agreement with the city over damage to their health. According to the Times, the city has agreed to pay out up to $657.5 million to about 10,000 plaintiffs in the case.

The settlement agreement has been in the works for about two years, taking place among a great deal of confusion and disagreement about the city’s responsibility for injured workers. The city had claimed it was immune because injuries occurred during a national emergency or civil defense situation. However, injured workers and their families argued they were employed by the city and entitled to compensation as they would be for any injury incurred on the job.

According to the Times report, 95 percent of the plaintiffs in this case must accept the terms of the settlement for it to take effect. Each plaintiff’s case will then be examined individually to determine how much compensation that person will receive, which lawyers estimate could run anywhere from a few thousand dollars to as much as $1 million. Individual compensation will depend on the severity of illness and level of exposure to contaminants at the World Trade Center site.

A variety of health screening and tracking programs were established in the days and months following the September 11 tragedy. Workers and others who simply lived and worked near the disaster site began complaining of a variety of illnesses, especially respiratory problems. There is an official World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program, as well as studies conducted by the Fire Department and other organizations.

Some health problems presented immediately following exposure to the site, such as respiratory distress, while others are only just showing up in those who worked at the site. It is now known that the Ground Zero site was contaminated with asbestos at levels at least two times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s “safe” level. Because of the long latency period between exposure to asbestos and the development of mesothelioma – an average of between 10 and 50 years – the true effect of asbestos exposure may not be known for years to come.

Some of the plaintiffs involved in the current settlement are not yet ill, but fear they will develop illnesses in the future as a result of their exposure to the toxins like asbestos. According to the Times, the settlement provides a $23.4 million insurance policy to cover possible future claims.


As we remember 9-11, the disaster’s first responders suffer from toxic exposure

11 Sep 2009 by Wendi Lewis under Events, News, People

WTC site rubble 100x100 As we remember 9 11, the disasters first responders suffer from toxic exposureToday, millions of Americans turned their thoughts to where they were and what they were doing on this date eight years ago, when they heard of the terrorist strike on the World Trade Center in . They mourn for loved ones lost in the attacks, and gather their resolve to pull together as a nation as we did in the days following the attacks. But for many, the horror, the fear and the dying continues. For the brave , who arrived while the buildings burned and stayed through their collapse and through the heartbreaking months that followed during cleanup, the disaster has created lingering illness, debilitating respiratory diseases and cancers including mesothelioma.

A CBS News investigative report spoke with individuals and families coping with this second disaster, a disaster that robs them and their loved ones of health and quality of life. Rescue workers, very few wearing any type of special gear, toiled day after day in dusty clouds of toxins including asbestos, jet fuel, mercury, lead and pulverized cement and glass. According to the CBS News report, health officials say such multi-chemical exposure as these workers experienced is “unprecedented.”

A variety of health screening and tracking programs were established in the days and months following /2001, when workers and even people who simply lived and worked near the disaster site began complaining of a variety of illnesses, particularly respiratory distress. To date, according to the CBS report, about 43,000 people have been physically screened for -related health issues, 28,000 are participating in the official World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program, and an additional 18,000 people in a similar program operated by the Fire Department.

Many responders are angry, saying they have to wade through mounds of regulations, restrictions and other roadblocks to fight for access to care and compensation. Many who die are not classified as technically having died “in the line of duty,” and their families are denied those benefits.

Physicians say it is difficult to definitively link health conditions to exposures because of the wide variety of toxins present on the site, and the varying levels of exposure among workers to amounts and types of chemicals and other substances. Some trouble signs presented immediately, such as respiratory distress, while others, such as immune system multiple myeloma, and colon , are now showing up in responders age 45 and younger.

Some diseases could take even longer to develop. Mesothelioma, a deadly that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen and/or heart, is a result of asbestos exposure. It is now known that the site was contaminated with asbestos at levels at least two times higher then the EPA’s “safe” level. The latency period for mesothelioma averages between 10 and 50 years, so the effect of this asbestos exposure may not be known for years to come.

How tragic that one of the most tragic days in recent American history should be borne the hardest by those who were bravest, those who dedicated their lives to caring for their fellow man, who rushed into the danger zone while others rushed away. My heart goes out to these brave souls, and I pray that they are not forgotten.

There is a link below to the comprehensive CBS News report about this. There is a wealth of information at this site, including video interviews with responders, medical reports about health issues, and links to resources and information about World Trade Center responder health programs and studies. I urge you to add a comment at the CBS web site voicing your support for more programs to help these brave folks.

Source: CBS News


WTC repsonders suffer from toxic poisons

12 Sep 2008 by Wendi Lewis under News

Yesterday I shared some information about the health effects on those who were exposed to the toxic dust and fumes from the World Trade Center collapse on September 11, 2001. Last night, the Sundance Channel aired a documentary, Dust to Dust: The Health Effects of , by Heidi Dehncke-Fisher, that explores the health effects particularly on the – firefighters, police officers, emergency medical personnel – and their fight to make the public aware of the danger they were exposed to at the site.

Experts say there will be long-term health effects as a result of the exposure to toxic chemicals, including mesothelioma and other serious respiratory diseases, , asthma, kidney disease, heart disease and more.

The documentary says more than 2,500 different contaminants were released in the collapse, including more than 400 tons of asbestos, 90 thousand liters of jet fuel ( causing Benzine); lead, cadmium and mercury, which can severely impact the kidneys, PCBs, PAHs and crystalline silica.

Watch the documentary.