Air Today . . . Gone Tomorrow Article

Local WTC Workers Having Health Problems
January 24, 2002

    Many of the workers who rushed to aid the victims of the World Trade Center disaster are being warned to stay in close contact with their doctors. WLWT Eyewitness News 5's Evelyn Robertson reported that some of those volunteers who are suffering ailments are from the Tri-State area. Robertson spoke with Frank Bardanaro, Jr., a crane operator from Newport, Ky., who assisted at the disaster site.
    Bardanaro said that ash and dust rained down on the site for days, making breathing very difficult. "After the dust started getting to some of the people, they did start using like a painters mask that they were trying to keep the dust out of their throats," Bardanaro said. But even with the masks, Bardanaro experienced a sore throat and a rash on exposed skin, Robertson reported.
    Health experts are taking a close look at the asbestos, metals and the carcinogens that were in the air those first few days, and wondering if it's the reason for what has become known as the "World Trade Center cough."
    Robertson also spoke with Steve Ashbrock, who headed up a group of volunteers with the Hamilton County Urban Search and Rescue Team. Ashbrook told Robertson that six of the team's members came back with the same respiratory problems. "Several received treatment, one was in the hospital, and all have returned back to work," Ashbrock said. Robertson reported that the symptoms have also gone away for Bardanaro, but not the concern that further problems could arise in the future. Despite the uncertainty, Bardanaro said that he wouldn't hesitate to help in a disaster again.

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