Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Peter T. King (R-NY), House sponsors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act, hailed today's announcement of a rule finalizing incorporation of 50 cancers to now be covered under the program.
The rule was promulgated under the process established in the law, which called for recommendations by a Science and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) to examine the scientific basis for the possible causes of cancer resulting from exposure to toxins released at Ground Zero, and the acceptance of those recommendations by Dr. John Howard, Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) and the administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program.
The Members of Congress issued the following joint statement:
"On the eve of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, today's announcement is great news for the responders, survivors and their families, who have long known-- and lived with-- the reality that 9-11 dust and toxins cause cancer. We congratulate STAC members, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Dr. Howard and their staffs for their hard work on behalf of our constituents and for staying true to the central aim of our legislation-- to make sure that every person who gets sick due to exposure from 9-11 toxins gets the care they so desperately need and deserve. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Dr. Howard as he and his team finalize the cancer coverage certification process to accomplish this goal."
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) within the Centers for Disease Control will publish this week the final rule in the Federal Register under which 50 cancers will be added to the World Trade Center Health Program. Notification of that submission to the Federal Register is here; the rule's publication date is Sept. 12; the rule will go into effect 30 days later.
The World Trade Center Health Program, created as a result of the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act introduced by Reps. Maloney, Nadler, and King, provides medical monitoring and treatment for those who became ill as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 and their aftermath.
In April, the Science/Technical Advisory Committee of the World Trade Center Health Program issued a formal recommendation to add certain types of cancers for coverage under the program. 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.
Below are links to summaries and implementation timelines of the Zadroga Act that were prepared by the Congressional Research Service:
* Brief fact sheet on Zadroga Act programs
* Zadroga Act questions & answers
* Summary of the Zadroga Act