9/11 victims granted funding for cancer treatment
Victims of chemical exposure during the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks have been offered treatment for 50 types of cancer as part of a reformed health programme.
The additional pay-outs are to be financially covered by the US federal government under the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The act was first signed into law in 2011 by American president Barack Obama to help victims of the infamous terrorist attack in New York on 11th September 2001.
The 11-year delay in accepting cancer onto the health bill is a result of previous failings to find a significant link between the disease and the chemical exposure caused by 9/11.
The National Institute For Occupational Safety (NIOSH) has announced that the toxic dust that billowed from the collapsing World Trade Center Towers contained 70 known and potential carcinogens. Other dangerous chemicals inhaled included included jet fuel, diesel oil and debris.
Over 3000 people died in the immediate after effects of the attack on the Twin Towers. In addition, over 1000 later died from illnesses linked to exposure to toxic dust. Victims include emergency service workers, cleaners and construction workers who worked during and after the attack on the site to secure the area and treat the injured.
The health programme previously covered respiratory diseases and psychological illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The inclusion of cancer treatment will allow 70,000 emergency health workers and survivors of 9/11 access to free health care.
Many victims are angry it took so long to be offered more inclusive compensation. A retired NYPD officer who helped in the aftermath of the attack at Ground Zero told the New York Post: “We sat in the pile and ate, drank water, rested – there was nowhere to go that wasn’t contaminated. I have cancer that I should never have gotten.”