Washington: The US Government has, for the first time, acknowledged a connection between toxic dust at Ground Zero after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks and several different kinds of cancer.
The federal government has recognised that people who lived near Ground Zero and first responders got cancer from toxic dust from the sight.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health announced the findings ahead of the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attack. According to the Daily Mail, the institute is responsible for deciding whether cancer should be among the illnesses covered by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Around 50 cancers are included.
The move means cancer victims will be able to apply for federal compensation from the USD 2.8 billion fund established under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
Michael Barasch, a lawyer who represents thousands of first responders and residents, said: “There’s new scientific evidence that dust is what is now linked to not only the respiratory illnesses, but all these cancers.”
“To me, it`s common sense. If you breathe in toxic fumes, you`re going to get cancer,” US Representative Carolyn Maloney, a Manhattan Democrat who helped author the bill, said. According to the report, about 400 first responders or people who lived near the site have died from cancer since 9/11, according to the most recent estimates.
Casse, a retired firefighter who helped clear away the mountain of rubble at ground zero, believes there’s little doubt his work at the site is responsible for his illness, the report said.
“You’ve got people in this city who went down there and did what we had to do. And a lot of us got sick because of it,” Casse said, adding: “To make us now fight for this money, it’s not right. In the grand scheme of things, this money’s a drop in the bucket”.