Washington: A US government review of
scientific studies has shown no proof that exposure to the
dust and rubble from the World Trade Centre after the attacks
of September 11, 2001 caused cancer.
The review of peer-reviewed medical and scientific
literature sparked anger among some firefighters, police and
other first responders who said they have seen too many
colleagues suffer from cancer to believe that there was no
"Insufficient evidence exists at this time to propose
a rule to add cancer, or a certain type of cancer, to the list
of WTC-related health conditions," said the review released
Tuesday by John Howard, a doctor who heads the US government`s
World Trade Centre Health Programme.
Howard said his 93-page review was only preliminary
and that more information would follow in early to mid 2012 to
include the latest data.
"It is important to point out that the current absence
of published scientific and medical findings demonstrating a
causal association between the exposures resulting from the
September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the occurrence of
cancer in responders and survivors does not indicate evidence
of the absence of a causal association," he wrote.
The next review should "capture any emerging findings
about exposures and cancer in responders and survivors
affected by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks."
His findings mean that cancer treatment will not be
covered by health care legislation signed this year to help
thousands of first responders struggling to pay for medical
care due to illnesses they believe are linked to WTC cleanup.
"The collapse of the Trade Centre towers released a
cloud of poisons, including carcinogens, throughout lower
Manhattan and we fully expect that cancers will be covered
under our legislation," said a statement by US lawmakers
Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, and Peter King.
The trio authored the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and
Compensation Act, named for a NYC police officer who died of
lung disease at age 34 after helping in the recovery effort.
"This is disappointing news for 9/11 responders and
survivors who tragically have been diagnosed with cancer since
the attacks and are suffering day-to-day and awaiting help,"
their statement said.
"Thankfully, we know that today`s announcement is not
the last word on the inclusion of cancers in the programme."