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WTC VictimsZadroga Act

JAMA Report Questions Link Between 9/11 Exposure and Cancer

January 21, 2013 | Michael Barasch

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) questions the claim that exposure to 9/11 toxins causes cancer.  The report will no doubt be used by those who want to cap or reduce the amount of damages available through the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. However, these findings should be treated with some skepticism given that cancer develops slowly and may not be apparent in many victims for another 20 years.

Advocates for those exposed to the contaminated air following the collapse of the World Trade Towers worked diligently to expand the eligibility criteria beyond respiratory illnesses and post-traumatic stress disorders. The Zadroga Act added 50 types of cancer to the list of exposure-related injuries.

These new findings did show an increased incidence of some cancers in rescue workers.  A recent New York Fire Department study reached similar conclusions, showing that first responders had a 19 percent greater incidence of cancer. Prostate and thyroid cancer, melanoma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma were the four most prevalent types. Exposed firefighters have a 43 percent higher risk of getting prostate cancer compared with the general population.

It will take decades before the full extent of the damage caused by exposure to 9/11 toxins is fully understood. Anyone who worked or lived in the vicinity has the right to file for compensation for exposure-related health problems. A knowledgeable attorney can help you take full advantage of the Zadroga Act.

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