NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A uniform worn by a member of the NYPD on 9/11 is helping doctors figure out exactly what made fist responders sick and there’s hope it could help some of them get better.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman On The Story

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“This uniform don’t lie,” said officer Alonzo Harris, who ran out of the south tower covered head to toe in filth, of the one sealed in plastic that day and tucked in his closet for ten years. “I wanted to put that memory behind me.”

But it has a story to tell.

“Started off with asbestos, lead, and mercury,” said Dr. Richard Lee, whose lab tested that uniform after Harris came down with lung disease last year.

“You can imagine New York City police officers and firefighters don’t like to admit or say that we’re scared. We’re actually terrified,” said PBA president Pat Lynch.

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He says this should be all that’s needed, not years of study.

“For the NYPD not to release this data, telling us how many of our members have cancer, is outrageous,” said Lynch. “We have young men and women who are dying from exotic cancers.”

Those are numbers that Lynch says will help get cancer covered under the Zadroga act.

“Stop covering it up. Let our members get better,” said Lynch.

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