On January 2, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act establishing the World Trade Health Program and extends and expands eligibility for compensation under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001.
The President remarked, "I was honored to sign the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to ensure that rescue and recovery workers, residents, students, and others suffering from health consequences related to the World Trade Center disaster have access to the medical monitoring and treatment they need. We will never forget the selfless courage demonstrated by the firefighters, police officers, and first responders who risked their lives to save others. I believe this is a critical step for those who continue to bear the physical scars of those attacks."
Those who were exposed to the toxic dust and fumes of the World Trade Center disaster continue to suffer from latent and progressive medical conditions. The New England Journal of Medicine has reported
that a substantial population that was exposed to the toxic residuals of the event are suffering from sever medical conditions. Positive pathological findings reflect the existence of aluminum and magnesium silicates, chrysotile asbestos, calcium phosphate, calcium sulfate, glass, and carbon nanotubes (CNT) were found in specimens
of exposed individuals.
Eligibility for benefits under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act
include those who were World Trade Center victims and First Responders. Under the law those who worked, attended school, childcare and adult day care, may be eligible. The program also covers some who were present in the area of the dust cloud or who lived in the the New York City disaster area. Certain cleanup and maintenance workers are included including tele-communications workers such as Verizon, AT&T and other employees.
It is probable that cancers resulting from the exposures will be covered under the legislation. Historically, occupational and environmental exposures to carcinogens, such as asbestos, may take many years to progress and manifest into conditions as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Additionally, various respiratory and digestive diseases are being reported including:
1. Interstitial lung diseases.
2. Chronic respiratory disorder--fumes/vapors.
4. Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS).
5. WTC-exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
6. Chronic cough syndrome.
7. Upper airway hyperreactivity.
8. Chronic rhinosinusitis.
9. Chronic nasopharyngitis.
10. Chronic laryngitis.
11. Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD).
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy