As the years have passed since that horrible day the World Trade Center was brought down, researchers keep learning more about the long-term health consequences to firefighters and first responders related to the inhalation of toxic dust and other hazardous materials at and around Ground Zero. A recent example is a study published in the medical journal Chest which found a high incidence of extrathoracic disease in World Trade Center firefighters and rescue workers who developed sarcoidosis after 9/11.
What is Sarcoidosis?
The recent study is a follow up to a previous report which documented the link between 9/11 exposure and sarcoidosis.
Sarcoidosis is a condition characterized by inflammation and formation of clusters of immune cells, or granulomas, which can affect several organs in the body, especially the lungs, skin, and lymph nodes, and particularly chest lymph nodes. Doctors believe sarcoidosis results from the body’s immune system responding to an unknown substance, usually inhaled from the air. Hence the connection with Ground Zero’s toxic dust, which included particulate matter, fibers, organic pollutants, gases, combustion byproducts, and metal dust.
The recent study involved 59 firefighters with post-9/11 sarcoidosis to explore the connection between that condition and extrathoracic disease, which is when the same problems caused by sarcoidosis extend to other organs and systems in the body such as the skin, eyes, liver, and cardiac and neurological systems.
The researchers found that “Extrathoracic disease was more prevalent in WTC-related sarcoidosis than reported for patients with sarcoidosis without WTC exposure or for other exposure-related granulomatous diseases (beryllium disease and hypersensitivity pneumonitis).”
These results “support the need for advanced cardiac screening in asymptomatic patients with strenuous, stressful, public safety occupations, given the potential fatality of a missed diagnosis,” the researchers concluded.
What to Do If You Are Experiencing Health Problems Due to 9/11
If you are experiencing health issues arising from your presence at the World Trade Center on 9/11 or during the days, weeks, and months of recovery work thereafter, resources, compensation, and cost-free medical treatment may be available to you. Both the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) and the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) were established specifically for that purpose.
However, you must register your claims with both programs in order to get the help you need. The registration process can be tricky and detailed, involves the submission of significant information and supporting documentation, and is subject to strict filing deadlines. If you fail to submit your claim properly or miss those deadlines, you could lose your ability to get compensation and care that is there specifically to assist 9/11 victims, responders, and recovery workers like you. That’s why over 80% of all 9/11 victims choose to have a 9/11 victim compensation lawyer help them with their claims.
At Turley Hansen & Partners, we have been helping survivors, first responders, and recovery workers recover compensation since shortly after the World Trade Center fell. Our extensive experience and deep commitment to 9/11 victims has resulted in the recovery of over $75 million in VCF compensation on behalf of over 1,200 clients.
Please call us today at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636) or fill out our contact form to arrange for your free 9/11 claim evaluation. We look forward to assisting you.