U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, and Peter King, authors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, today released a joint statement, below, in response to studies published in the Lancet this week indicating an elevated risk of melanoma, thyroid and prostate cancer, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among firefighters who served at ground zero compared to the general population, and an overall increase in cancer among firefighters exposed to toxins at the World Trade Center site compared to firefighters who weren't. The only peer-reviewed study of possible 9/11-related cancers prior to this one was a small study showing a possible rise in multiple myeloma among 9/11 responders.
"Evidence of an increased risk of cancers among firefighters who served at ground zero underscores the severity of toxic exposures caused by 9/11, the full effects of which are still emerging 10 years after the attacks. This is why we fought to pass the Zadroga Act, which provides long-term care for 9/11-related illnesses, as well as a process to provide coverage for additional diseases that medical science may link to the attacks," said Maloney, Nadler, and King.
"We will be looking closely at the findings published in the Lancet and hope that Dr. Howard will consider as soon as possible adding coverage for the cancers discussed in the Lancet study, which the Zadroga Act empowers him to do."
In August, the lawmakers wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to request that she appoint by early this month members of the Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee, a panel created under the Zadroga Act to review scientific and medical evidence and make recommendations to 9/11 Health Administrator Dr. John Howard on providing coverage for additional 9/11-related health conditions. A copy of the lawmakers' letter can be found below.
The Zadroga Act provides health care for those injured or exposed to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, and reopens the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund to provide economic relief to those harmed by the attacks.