WTC conditions cause illness among first responders during 9/11
| 06.05.2006 | 06:08:43 | Views: 2858 | ID:
June 5 '06: A federal lawsuit in New York, on behalf of more than 8,000 firefighters, police and private workers who responded to the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, is focusing on the potential health effects of the dust cloud released when the towers fell the New York Times reported Monday. "From legal documents presented in the case, a tale emerges of heroic but ineffective efforts to protect workers, with botched opportunities, confused policies and contradictions that failed to ensure their safety," the Times reported.
At issue are more than 150,000 masks which were given to workers while they cleared the rubble while looking for survivors. However, the Times reported that most "workers either did no have the masks, or did not use them," and that according to lawyers representing the workers, "no single organization [was] responsible for giving them out, and no one with the power to make sure the respirators that were distributed got used, and used properly," the Times continued.Currently, there are efforts like the World Trade Center Health Registry which "is a comprehensive and confidential health survey of those most directly exposed to the events of 9/11/01," which seeks to follow the health effects of the 9/11 disaster. Additionally, Reuters has found that law makers in Washington have been "working to craft a $140 billion fund that could process thousands of injury claims from people sickened by asbestos," which was released into the air when the towers collapsed. The Senate bill would "create a $140 billion fund to pay up to $1.1 million to individual asbestos victims. It would be financed by companies that made or sold asbestos products," which were used in the towers as a fire retardant. For the first responders working at Ground Zero, conditions could not have been worse, the Times reported. "A smoking heal of nearly two million tons of tangled steel and concrete that contained a brew of toxins, including asbestos, benzene, PCB's, and more than 400 chemicals. Indeed recent health studies have found that many people who worked on the pile have since developed a rash or serious ailments, including gastrointestinal and respiratory problems," the Times reported.
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