More Bad News For 9/11 Rescue Workers

Written by Jill Colvin on . Posted in Posts.

World Trade
rescue and recovery workers
are suffering from asthma at a rate that’s 12 times higher than normal,
according to a new Health Department survey released yesterday. 3.6 percent of the
more than 25,000 workers enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Registry
report the condition, supporting previous findings that 70 percent of ground
zero workers
have suffered from lung problems. In the days following the attack,
the Environmental Protection Agency assured the public that the air at ground
zero was safe to breathe, despite having no evidence to support their claims.

Where and when workers worked also seemed to play a role.
Those who worked “directly on the pile” and those who arrived at the site the day
of the attacks and worked for more than 90 days had especially high rates of 7%.
The data also show that workers who used masks or respirators during the
recovery effort had reduced rates.

“It is clear that this was preventable,” New York Committee
on Occupational Health and Safety’s Joel Schufro told NY1, “had the city and
contractors instituted programs where workers were required to wear
respirators, had trained workers appropriately to do so and created the
conditions under which they could wear them.” The Health Department is currently
conducting follow-up surveys to monitor workers’ health.