Air Today . . . Gone Tomorrow Article

Preliminary Report Shows Cause for Concern about Health of WTC Survivors: 70,000 Participating, Health Impact Widespread
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.

This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of democracy, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

Take me back to learn more