God bless the medical professionals at the FDNY WTC Health Program. They just published a thorough 100`page study on the health impacts of 9/11 on FDNY rescue and recovery workers (Firefighters, EMT’s, Paramedics, Officers, civilians and retirees) for the past 15 years. And it’s all written in plain English.
After the World Trade Center collapsed on 9/11, a cloud of dust and debris resembling a massive volcanic explosion enveloped lower Manhattan. In addition to the 343 firefighters killed that terrible day, thousands more were on the front lines of rescue and recovery for nearly ten months. During these heroic efforts, they were exposed to WTC toxins including burning jet fuel, asbestos, wood and fiberglass particulates, cement dust, noxious gases, chemicals and carpet fibers. Since 9/11, 127 FDNY responders have died from 9/11 cancers and/or respiratory problems.
In the last 15 years, the FDNY WTC Health Program, under the outstanding leadership of Drs. Kerry J. Kelly and David J. Prezant, has provided medical treatment for either physical or mental conditions (PTSD, depression) to almost 14,000 fire department members. Last year alone, the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program provided medical care to over 9000 members. The need is still strong.
The most common FDNY WTC-related illnesses continue to be 9/11 related upper and lower respiratory diseases such as COPD, chronic bronchitis, interstitial lung disease, asthma and rhinosinusitis. Unfortunately, 9/11 related cancers among FDNY members continue to grow – with 9/11 prostate cancer and 9/11 thyroid cancers being the most predominant. FDNY 9/11 responders were found to have higher cancer rates among all types of cancers, compared to the general population. Unfortunately, our office has seen a significant increase in the last year of 9/11 related skin cancer, 9/11 lung cancer and 9/11 colon cancer among our 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund claim clients.
The findings of this comprehensive study show important health monitoring is for all 9/11 first responders, including the NYPD. To date, the FDNY WTC Health Program has provided over 130,000 yearly monitoring exams saving countless lives. Keep up the great work!