Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has announced cancer coverage for those affected by toxic exposure on the site of the World Trade Center. Howard once concluded cancers could not be linked to the events after the terrorist attacks in New York but now concludes there is certainly a link.
After years of study of the health effects after exposure to the toxins at Ground Zero, Dr. Howard has found an undeniable link between the development of cancer and the exposure to Ground Zero dust. The 15 member World Trade Center Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee voted to have 14 broad categories and 50 specific cancer types included in the coverage under the Zadroga Act.
For a number of years since the attacks, volunteers and responders have been dealing with the effects of cancer they developed after spending time on the toxic site. None of the cancer cases were eligible for medical coverage until the ruling this week. Supporters of the sick responders consider this turn of events to be a ‘milestone’.
Many of those stricken with cancer are unable to work and no longer have the health coverage necessary to seek cancer treatment. Cancer treatments will be available to those affected at several New York hospitals including Bellevue, SUNY Downstate, and Mount Sinai. Individuals may also qualify for compensation for lost wages, and for pain and suffering.