Research/studies Worker health and wellness Workplace exposures Fire/emergency medical services

Studies link 9/11 dust exposure to sleep apnea, PTSD

San Francisco – First responders who were exposed to particulate matter at Ground Zero during and after 9/11 may be at higher risk for sleep apnea and post-traumatic stress disorder, suggest two new studies presented March 20 at the American Heart Association's EPI/NPAM 2014 Scientific Sessions.

Both studies, conducted by researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital, involved the same group of more than 800 first responders exposed to varying levels of exposure to toxic dust at the site. First responders with high exposure were found to have an increased risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea and PTSD, and researchers noted that both conditions may contribute to cardiovascular disease. They said they plan to monitor 9/11 responders for heart disease warning signs.