Ground Zero health czar needed - Congressmen say
| 01.26.2006 | 09:13:33 | Views: 2673 | ID:
January 26 '06: Two representatives from New York are pushing legislation in Congress for appointment of a federal health inspector to lead the treatment and testing of those workers who helped clear the rubble from the Twin Towers after their collapse on September 11, 2001.
The Associated Press reported Thursday Congressman Vito Fossella (D-NY) saying, "As we speak, there is not one individual who is charged with coordinating the screening and the monitoring and the treatment of the thousands of people who/ve been affected adversely from Sept. 11."Fossella was joined by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (R-NY) during a press conference at Ground Zero. "The 9/11 health czar would be directly responsible and accountable for the full range of the federal government's response," Fossella continued. In recent weeks, more reports of lung and respiratory ailments have been reported from those who helped clear the sites of debris after the tower collapsed. A report by the AP in January found a rise in the "trade center cough." Additionally, many of those with serious illness following cleanup at ground zero suffer from emphysema as well as other pulmonary diseases like black lung. Some of those who have died were also found to have high levels of mercury in their brains. The AP found that a letter to the US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt was signed by a bipartisan group of Congress members, and has called the the recent deaths "an ominous sign" while demanding the Bush administration to have a long-term plan for the monitoring and treatment of first responders and those living near Ground Zero.
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