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Asthma Common Among World Trade Center Rescue Workers

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Friday, September 12, 2008 1:19 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: In the Workplace, FDA and Prescription Drugs, Asthma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, World Trade Center Illness

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IMAGE SOURCE: © Wikimedia Commons / World Trade Center Aerial View (March 2001) / author: Jeffmock

As the country marks the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a new study shows adults near the World Trade Center, as well as many others, still suffer from numerous physical and psychological health problems such as asthma and post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents

According to a newly released study based on figures from the World Trade Center Health registry, three percent of adult workers and residents in the area on the morning of the attack and soon after have developed asthma, at twice the rate of newly diagnosed asthma in the general population for the same time frame.

Asthma was more pervasive in adult residents that remained in the area of the destruction 9/11 or those who left only to return home within a couple of days – about 4 percent – and less prevalent, at 2 percent, among those who stayed away from the area surrounding ground zero until at least December.

The study estimates that between 3,800 to 12,600 individuals exposed to the World Trade Center disaster site have since developed asthma, and an estimated 35,000 to 70,000 of those adults suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

This is the most comprehensive study, to date, that shows the health conditions of 71,437 people, including passer-by and residents, rescue workers and area workers, who agreed to be followed for up to 20 years following the attack. They account for 17.4 percent of the 410,000 people most severely exposed to the site.

The registry is maintained by the New York City Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board also announced that 31,543 volunteers and workers who preformed rescue, cleanup work or recover at the World Trade Center site have filed notice to preserve the right to file a claim in the future because they were exposed to toxic air following 9/11.

New York State’s Workers’ Compensation prohibits most workers against filing a claim, in excess of two years following an injury, which makes meeting the deadline particularly important, but special conditions have granted for ground zero site workers.

September 11, 2010, is the new deadline to safeguard your right to file a claim in the future. #


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