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Preliminary Report Shows
Cause for Concern about Health of WTC Survivors: 70,000 Participating, Health Impact
By Eyewitness News' Joe Torres
(New York -WABC, November 22, 2004)
Shortness of breath, wheezing, persistent coughs, throat irritation, and sinus problems.
They are ailments that continue to plague thousands of people who worked or lived in Lower
Manhattan on September 11th, 2001. The percentages of those still suffering are remarkably
high. Eyewitness News' Joe Torres reports.
Never before has there been a health registry of this size and magnitude. Seventy thousand
people are in what is called the World Trade Center Health Registry. It was put together
14 months ago and today the city health commissioner released some preliminary findings.
Secondly, eight percent of the registrants reported psychological distress related to
9/11. The citywide average is five percent.
Dr. Lorna Thorpe, Deputy Health Commissioner: "You need to differentiate between
those who have temporary, minor health problems reported after 9/11, versus individuals
who have had persistent and more serious conditions."
Hundreds of police officers, firefighters and emergency workers suffered a persistent
cough in the days and weeks after 9/11. It's a fact corroborated in the health registry
findings. But right now the registry does not address the long-term effects of their
exposure to potentially harmful contaminants and that's a major worry.
Peter Gorman, Firefighter: "we're concerned about symptoms that might... Could be
dormant and show up in a strange sort of a blood cancer or any kind of a cancer ten or
fifteen years from now or longer."
Lou Matarazzo, Detectives Endowment Assoc: "No one knows the significance of this
study because we really don't know how badly our people have been hurt by this 9/11, how
they're going to be in the future years."
That right there is the primary reason the 70,000 enrollees in this health registry will
be tracked and monitored for the next ten to twenty years.
According to the city health commissioner, the new results will be released to the general
public as the monitoring continues.
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