Second and Third Wave Illnesses:
(Source: Robin Herbert, co-director WTC Mt. Sinai Medical Monitoring program)
• Second-wave: Interstitial lung diseases, such as Pulmonary Fibrosis & Sarcoid-like Granulomatous Disease.
• Third wave: Cancers of the hematologic system (luekemia, multiple myeloma), & lymphatic system (lymphoma).
Mental Health of Responders:
• PTSD is severe and chronic in many cases.
• Disability and depression are common.
• Statistic of 33% (source: Mt. Sinai program) of responders having Mental Health problems is most likely underreported.
WTC Worker Deaths: 662--as of Sept. 2008 (source: WTC Responder Fatality Investigations)
Why are Responders Sick?
• Responders were exposed to toxins in concentrations and combinations that have never before been encountered in US history.
• Toxins in the dust cloud derived from the pulverized building materials include benzene, asbestos, hydrochloric acid, PCBs, heavy metals such as mercury and lead, and thousands of others.
• As recovery and cleanup progressed, combustion-derived pollutants from the fires at the site released toxic compounds such as dioxins, volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and various other known carcinogenic compounds.
Why Didn't Responders Wear Protective Masks?
The government (via the EPA--Environmental Protection Agency) and the city of New York announced the air and dust had been tested and that it was safe.
Current 9/11 Treatment Programs:
Responders: WTC Medical Monitoring & Treatment program. (Federally funded; often referred to as the 'Mt. Sinai' program). Includes the FDNY, and the 'centers of Excellence': Mt. Sinai, Belleview, Queens College, SUNY Stony Brook, the Robert Wood Johnson center (NJ), and the new WTC clinic in Staten Island.
Community: The NYC-run WTC Environmental program monitors and treats non-responder community members affected by 9/11. centers are located at Belleview, Gouverneur and Elmhurst hospitals in NYC.
Out-of-State: Logistics Health, Inc. (LHI) is currently under contract to monitor and treat the 10,000+ 'National' responders.
Why is Current 9/11 Treatment Considered Inadequate?
• Since no 9/11 health legislation has yet been passed at the federal level, 9/11 health care programs have thus far been funded by a year-to-year appropriations process.
• Programs are underfunded--many close due to lack of funding renewal, and quality doctors cannot be retained.
• Funding to this point has been mostly for monitoring, NOT treatment.
• Treatment parameters are currently small--limited to respiratory and gastrointestinal issues. If a responder has cancer or other ailments, it is not covered by the program.
• The National Program took years to implement. It is currently run by Logistics Health, Inc. (LHI), but has been erratic, slow and inefficient.
Proposed 9/11 Health Legislation:
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act (H.R.7174)
• Named for NYPD detective James Zadroga, who passed away from WTC-related illness at age 34 after logging over 400 hours at Ground Zero.
If passed, the bill would:
• Provide a stable, ongoing federally funded monitoring and treatment program for responders and affected community members.
• Fund an ongoing national program to care for the over 10,000 responders who hail from outside the NY area.
• Fund ongoing research on WTC-related diseases.
• Reopen the Victims Compensation Fund to provide for economic loss and damages.
What else can America do to help?
• Call, email and fax elected officials at the local, state and federal level to urge them to support and pass appropriate 9/11 Health Care programs, research and legislation.
Fact Sheet compiled by Claire Calladine, co-founder, 9/11 Health Now
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