Today, the Science/Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) of the World Trade Center Health Program voted to add certain types of cancers for coverage under the program. U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Peter King (R-NY), authors of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, lauded today's real progress toward inclusion of cancers under their legislation and issued the following joint statement:
"As House sponsors of the Zadroga Act, we wholeheartedly applaud the STAC's recommendation that cancers be covered under our legislation. Scientific evidence finally has caught up with what we've long known -- that the toxins from the collapse of the World Trade Center towers are linked directly to increased cancer rates among 9/11 responders and survivors. We are hopeful that Dr. Howard will adopt the Committee's conclusions and officially add cancer to the list of covered conditions."
The World Trade Center Health Program, which is headed by Dr. John Howard, Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, provides medical monitoring and treatment for those who became ill as a result of the attacks, and conducts research into emerging 9/11-related health conditions. Last September, Reps. Maloney, Nadler, King, Rangel, Velazquez, Grimm, and Clarke, along with Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand, sent a letter to Dr. Howard, requesting that he review new evidence that showed an increased rate of cancers among firefighters present at ground zero and consider adding cancer for the health program. The WTC Science and Technical Advisory Committee was created under the Zadroga Act to advise Dr. Howard regarding the implications of 9/11-related medical research, and to issue recommendations on adding coverage for new conditions under the bill.