Congress members request NIOSH 9/11 autopsy guidelines

November 18, 2010

Three House members from New York recently requested that NIOSH develop autopsy guidelines for workers who served at ground zero after 9/11.

In a letter to NIOSH Director John Howard (who also is the federal 9/11 health coordinator), Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D), Jerrold Nadler (D) and Pete King (R) said such guidelines for deceased workers would help doctors better understand the effects of illnesses experienced by responders and workers at the World Trade Center site. Several responders have become ill, and more than 900 have died since serving at ground zero, according to a press release from the House members. It is unknown how many of the deaths may be due to toxic exposure at the site.

All three representatives are authors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (H.R. 847), a bill that would provide long-term health care solutions for first responders and workers who became ill in the aftermath of 9/11. The bill passed out of the House Sept. 29 and now is in the Senate.

NIOSH currently is reviewing the letter and, after doing so, will respond to the representatives, according to an institute spokesperson.