Workers from 9/11 found to have increased risk of some kind of physical or mental health problems. According to 1 of 3 studies found in a September 1 issue of the Lancet, many rescue and recovery workers at the event of 9/11 suffer from physical or mental health ills 9 years after the event.
Even people in the Manhattan area were found to have a 10 percent increased risk of cancer, probably due to the carcinogens found in the dust and debris after the fall of the World Trade Towers.
“At the 10-year point after 9/11, we’re still seeing a great deal of persistent disease in the first responders, the police, the firefighters, the construction workers,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan, senior author of the first study and chairman of preventive medicine at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York City. The author’s study evaluated the health of over 27,000 rescue and recovery workers and found that:
- 28 percent had asthma
- 42 percent had sinusitis
- 39 percent had gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
The study concluded that the respiratory and digestive problems are a result of people breathing in the health-hazardous dust clouds, which caused inflammation and scarring.
“These people swallowed that very, very caustic dust which . . . was extremely alkaline. It was described as inhaling Drano in powdered form,” Landrigan said.
Some experts are surprised the numbers aren’t higher, but it is also believed that the health problems already arising from the event are showing up a bit early.
The second study also found seven years after 9/11, male firefighters sent to the World Trade Center (WTC) had a 19 percent increased risk of cancer compared to those who were not sent there.
The study also found however, that certain cancers such as stomach, colon, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, weren’t as likely to occur in people near the disaster.
The numbers from these studies aren’t as important as the overall idea. It can’t be 100% known what factor caused which health problem, but it is known that the overall health of people directly or indirectly exposed to the toxic dust clouds at 9/11 is suffering.