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9/11 Heroes at Risk of Cancer

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Fire fighters who helped with the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center on September 11th 2001 are at a high risk of developing cancer according to latest research.

It has been found that they came into contact with agents such as polycyclic, dioxins and aromatic hydrocarbons, all of which are known to cause cancer.

Previous studies have concluded that those involved in the rescue efforts are at a higher risk of asthma, post traumatic stress disorder and respiratory illnesses.

However, Dr David Prezant, of the New York City Fire Department suggests that this study strongly supports the worry that 9/11 is directly affecting the health of the rescuers more seriously. As this is the first study to examine cancer rates in all fire fighters who were exposed, it is hoped that the evidence is overwhelming enough to allow those affected federal health benefits.

As it stands, under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, rescue workers can only make claims for illnesses such as asthma, but currently there are no plans to include cancer. However, having accounted for individuals already diagnosed with cancer and those over 60 on the day of September 11th fire fighters were still 19% more likely to develop cancer.

Speaking about the research, Dr James Melius of the New York State Laborers’ Health Fund stated that the evidence was overwhelming in favour of the benefit being provided and that waiting for further evidence would, “be unfair and pose a hardship for workers who willingly risked their health by responding without hesitation to the WTC crisis.”

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