Zadroga Bill Failed to Cover Cancers Until 2012

Cancer was not initially covered under the Zadroga bill, signed into law by President Obama in January 2011. Health benefits were provided to thousands of first responders under the bill, but until the list of cancers and respiratory ailments were expanded in 2012.  Currently the Zadroga bill is under intensive lobbying, as the funding for health benefits is set to expire.

Higher Incidence of Cancer Among First Responders

The NY Post recently reported more than 3,700 first responders have been certified as suffering from 9/11-related cancers. This number includes members of the Fire Department of New York, New York City Police Officers, downtown workers and residents and other first responders.  In fact, among officers with the NYPD who worked at Ground Zero, there is a full 50 percent more diagnoses of cancer when compared to the years prior to the attacks. The study which came to this conclusion was an NYPD 20-year study, which looked at the medical records of 40,000 police officers who were working during 9/11, tracking their rates of cancer through 2014.

Brain, Kidney, Thyroid and Lymphoma Cancers Increase Significantly

Eight hundred fifty-nine police officers were diagnosed with cancer during the two decade-study, with eleven of those having more than one type of cancer. From the period between 2002 and 2014, the rates of cancer increased 50 percent as compared to the period of 1995 through 2001. Colon, prostate and breast cancers were among the most common. A full 56 percent of police officers who received a cancer diagnosis served at Ground Zero within 24 hours of the initial attacks. The cloud of toxic debris was the most intense during this time period. Large increases were seen in cancers such as kidney, thyroid, brain and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The incidence of malignant brain cancers and kidney cancers tripled between 2001 and 2014, while thyroid cancers doubled and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma increased by 50 percent.

These four types of cancers were generally detected after symptoms appeared, rather than through the regular screenings. Today, the laws specify more than 50 types of cancers, in hopes of covering all of those who developed cancer as a result of 9/11. Some experts were aware Ground Zero first responders and others in the area were developing cancers at a much higher rate than others, even before the law was amended. Dr. David Prezant claimed the cement dust at Ground Zero had a pH between 10 and 11. Prezant likened the toxic dust to inhaling powdered Drano. If you developed cancer as a result of 9/11, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable 9/11 attorney.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer or a chronic illness after being exposed to hazardous chemicals during 9/11, it is important to speak to an experienced and skilled 9/11 cancer attorney. Turley Hansen & Rosasco have the resources and experience needed to represent first responders and survivors of 9/11. We can help you understand all of your legal options and protect your rights to compensation.

We also encourage all first responders and their families to join us in supporting the renewal of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Should you have any questions about the Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act or World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, please feel free to call, click the chat button or contact us at the top of this page.