Cancer cases DOUBLE among 9/11 World Trade Center rescuers in just one year
The number of first responders suffering from cancer after inhaling 9/11 fumes has more than doubled since last year, according to a new report.
Some 1,655 cops, city workers, volunteers and locals exposed to toxins from the collapse of the World Trade Centre have been diagnosed with the deadly disease, according to Mount Sinai Hospital’s World Trade Centre Health Program, which tracks the health of 37,000 first responders. Another 863 FDNY firefighters and paramedics have also fallen ill with various types of cancer since Sept. 11, 2001, the New York Post reported. The latest findings are more than twice the number of reported cancer cases up to September of last year, when epidemiologists at the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said some 1,140 people suffered from WTC related cancers. ‘There are more cases out there, because we just know of the people in our government-funded medical programs, not those who have been treated by their private doctors,’ has said Dr. Jim Melius, who oversees health programs for 9/11 first responders.
More than 60,270 people have been at risk of deadly diseases after inhaling dust and fumes containing asbestos from the building’s lower columns and benzene from jet fuel. The toxins also include lead from 50,000 pulverized computers and mercury from thousands of light bulbs. ‘I was a very active guy — now there’s not much I can do,’ said one retired firefighter, who was recently awarded $1.5 million from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund after falling ill with lung disease and pancreatic cancer, to The Post. Then a captain at the FDNY, the 63-year-old victim closed the Brooklyn Bridge so his crew could access Ground Zero and worked in the ruins of the fallen towers for a week to help find victims. ‘I knew that day that a lot of us would get sick,’ he told the paper. In September 2012, federal authorities added 58 types of cancer to a growing list showing the variety of cancers that first responders have contracted. The most common cases are skin, prostate, thyroid and Non-Hodgkins’ Lymphoma.
Studies have also found that rescuers show increased rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
The Victim Compensation Fund has received some 1,145 cancer claims as of June 30, The Post reported. More than 880 of those have already been filed as eligible for compensation while the rest remains under review.