New Study Finds 9/11 Ground Zero Responders Paying With Their Health

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The first long-term study of the health impacts of the 9/11 attacks is out and the results are not good news for workers at Ground Zero.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon Reports

In the days, weeks and months after the World Trade towers fell, firefighters, police, rescue, construction and city workers labored in a witche’s brew of smoke, pulverized cement and known carcinogens like asbestos, benzene, PCB’s and dioxin, CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported.

LINK: Much More On The Study

Firefighter Ray Pfeifer worked on the pile for seven months. He was told by his doctor that he had stage-4 cancer.

“Who knows what you were breathing in because it was so thick,” Pfeifer said.

Now, nearly ten years later, Pfeifer’s kidney cancer has spread and so far, it has cost him part of his leg and hip and a kidney. He’s not alone.

“There are a lot of guys who are sick on this job — a lot of guys,” Pfeifer said.

A major federally-funded study released Thursday night in the Lancet medical journal shows firefighters working at the site had 10 percent more cancers than the general public and 19 percent more cancers than firefighters not involved.

“The biggest surprise was that cancer was increased. Actually, when I started the study, I didn’t think it would be, alright. Not at seven years, alright. But that increase is real,” FDNY Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Prezant said.

Although other cancer experts say it is too soon to draw a link between those exposures and cancer.

“One wouldn’t expect to see an elevation in solid tumors so early — seven years is very short. Usually it takes decades,” said Cancer epidemiologist Dr. Al Neugat.

Even without the cancer link, the Lancet study makes it clear that Ground Zero responders are suffering numerous physical and mental ills.

Of those workers exposed, 42 percent have abnormal lung function and the same percentage have sinusitis. Thirty-nine percent have gastroesophageal reflux and 28 percent have asthma.

Mental illness is also more common than the general population with 9 percent suffering depression, 8 percent panic disorder and 7 percent depression.

“Look at these same men — those that are still alive ten years later — it’s disturbing to say the least,” said Kenny Specht, a former firefighter.

A federal report released in July concluded there was not enough evidence the toxic dust Ground Zero workers were exposed to actually caused their cancer, making first responders ineligible for federal compensation. That decision will likely be revisited in the wake of this report.

Comments

One Comment

  1. michaelfury says:

    “The same dust which afflicted you, dear friend, bears smoking-gun evidence for the true cause of the destruction of the WTC Towers and WTC 7.”

    – Dr. Steven E. Jones

    Janette MacKinlay, 1948 – 2010

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/thy-speech-shall-whisper-out-of-the-dust/

    1. AGREED says:

      Most truthfull, let us not be timid and deny cold facts :
      9 11 WAS an INSIDE JOB
      in order to justify the dismantling of America under the shadow of terrorism.

      Wake up before we are a 4th world impovershed nation with out any freedom left.

  2. midi-man says:

    We give money to every country in the world. It’s time we took care of our own. Divert the money from the foreign countries that says they are our friend until we need them to be then they turn their back on us.

  3. Wilson says:

    Don’t give the hero firefighters a dime!! They were doing there job at ground zero. There is no reason for taxpayers to foot there medical bills let there fdny pay for it

    1. 9/11 DSNY CLEAN UP GUY says:

      HEY WILSON,
      I GUESS YOU WERE ONE OF THOSE WHO RUN AWAY FROM DANGER. THOSE ON THE PILE ARE PEOPLE WHO REALLY CARE ABOUT OTHERS. THIS IS THE PROBLEM WITH OUR COUNTRY NOBODY IS WILLING TO HELP THEIR FRIENDS OR NEIGHBORS. ITS ALL ABOUT ME……HOPE YOU NEVER NEED HELP!!!

  4. ThePatriotMuckraker says:

    More Lies.

    The government’s quack answer? Those first responders are dying because al-cia-da and tim ossman aka. osama been-dead for 9 years.

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