Studies show health problems among 9/11 responders

September 7, 2011

New York – Firefighters exposed to toxic dust at the World Trade Center site after the 9/11 terrorist attacks were at least 19 percent more likely to develop cancer in the following seven years than firefighters who were not there, indicates a study from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University.

Researchers assessed almost 10,000 New York City firefighters employed as of Jan. 1, 1996 – 8,927 of whom were exposed on 9/11. They found that exposed firefighters had up to a 10 percent higher risk for all cancers compared to the general population, according to a summary of the study.

The study, which appeared in the Sept. 1 issue of The Lancet, comes about a month after NIOSH concluded “insufficient evidence” exists to prove a causal relationship between cancer and 9/11 exposure.

In a separate study that also appeared in The Lancet, researchers at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York identified persistent health problems among first responders nine years after the attacks. The study of 27,449 responders found widespread asthma, sinusitis, abnormal lung function tests, and post-traumatic stress disorder and panic disorder symptoms.