WTC responders health

Thank you to all members who brought this article to the PBA’s attention. This article serves as a reminder to all of us to be cognizant of our health, and to participate in related medical monitoring.

Study: Latecomers to WTC Collapse Still Face Illness

NEW YORK (1010 WINS)  — New York state employees who worked at the World Trade Center site in the days and weeks following the terror attacks suffered respiratory problems despite less exposure than their colleagues who were caught in the toxic cloud of dust when the towers fell, according to a new study.

Researchers conducting the study evaluated 1,423 state workers who responded to the disaster, including 110 who were caught in the dust cloud when the skyscrapers collapsed. Most participants were New York State police, National Guard members and state Department of Transportation workers.

Of those studied, one-third arrived during the first two days following the attack and 57 percent arrived before Sept. 16, 2001. 
All participants arrived at the site before Dec. 23, 2001. The research, led by Matthew P. Mauer of the state Department of Health, was published in the November issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The study found that nearly 47 percent of workers not caught in the dust cloud reported experiencing lower respiratory problems, compared with just over 57 percent of those caught in the dust cloud. Of those not caught in the cloud, 33 percent said they suffered from psychological symptoms, compared to just over 36 percent of those directly exposed to the cloud.

That data does not include responses from the 81 study participants for whom it was unknown whether they were caught in the dust cloud.

The information was collected in 2002 when state personnel answered questionnaires and underwent medical examinations. They were also offered medical monitoring evaluation, which happened between 2002 and November 2003.