Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C-NY) applauded the decision announced by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) late this afternoon to add 50 new cancers to the list of diseases covered by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The final rule will be published September 12th and go into effect 30 days later.
"Our brave first responders put their lives on the line in the aftermath of 9/11, working around the clock in the dust cloud of toxins in rescue and clean-up operations," said Grimm. "We had no way of knowing what health ailments would result in the years to follow, but as more scientific evidence has come forth in the last decade, it is clear that the initial level of coverage was not enough to sufficiently care for those affected. I applaud the decision to add 50 new cancers to the list of coverage. This long overdue decision will allow us to uphold our commitment to the first responders who became ill after the attacks, and ensure that they receive the medical care and treatment they deserve."
On September 7, 2011, Rep. Grimm joined several of his New York colleagues in sending a letter to Dr. John Howard, M.D., Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) asking that the list of covered diseases be expanded to include more cancers in order to reflect the findings of a study conducted by the NYC Fire Department.
Rep. Grimm served as a first responder in the recovery and clean-up in the aftermath of 9/11. He represents the borough of Staten Island, which lost 78 firefighters (the highest loss of any borough) and almost 300 residents.