Cancers among ground-zero workers skyrocketing

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Source: Herald Sun.

2,500 Ground Zero workers have cancer

The heroes who ran towards the burning rubble of the World Trade Centre to rescue others on September 11 have been dealt a cruel blow. They managed to survive the horror of the shocking 2001 terrorist attack in New York City, but now it’s been revealed that more than 2500 of the brave people who responded to 9/11 have contracted cancer.

New figures show that 2518 police officers, construction workers, sanitation workers, city employees, volunteers, firefighters and paramedics have been diagnosed with various forms of the illness, the New York Post reports.

The event claimed more than 2700 lives, but it exposed hundreds and thousands more to dust, debris, pulverised building materials and toxic emissions in the wake of the twin towers’ collapse.

Scientists have linked the release of this pollution into the environment with an heightened incidence of cancer among those who responded to the emergency.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that there was an increased risk of prostate cancer, thyroid cancer and myeloma among the Ground Zero workers when compared to other New York State residents.

A growing number of those affected are seeking compensation for their illnesses, the Post reports.

NYFD Deputy Chief Joseph Curry at the WTC (Image: Wikipedia)

NYFD Deputy Chief Joseph Curry at the World Trade Center (Image: Wikipedia)

A retired New York Fire Department captain, who worked non-stop at Ground Zero for a week after the event and for months after that, has been awarded $1.5 million from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) as a result of his lung cancer and inoperable pancreatic cancer. On 9/11, he was a musclebound 180kg, standing 185cm, but chemotherapy and radiation has emaciated his body to 72kg.

He brought the head of the VCF, Sheila Birnbaum, to tears when he testified at a hearing in May, saying how he loves his grandchildren, but is often too weak to play with them, and worries about his wife’s future given his grim prognosis.

“I’m hoping they rush more cases like mine, where we’re not expected to last long,” he told the Post.

Sufferers had made 1145 claims to the VCF as of June 30…read more.


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The ONA Editor curates oncology news, views and reviews from Australia and around the world for our readers. In aggregated content, original sources will be acknowledged in the article footer.

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