Troy Rosasco, Partner, Turley, Redmond, Rosasco & Rosasco, LLP, and Daniel J Hansen, Partner, Turley, Hansen & Partners, say they support the decision to that would place cancer on the list of diseases covered by the James Zadroga 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
Three members of U.S. Congress from New York - Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler and Peter King - have urged the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to consider a study performed by the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet which links exposure to toxins at the Ground Zero site to cancer. They have also asked that cancer be listed as one of the diseases that should be covered under the VCF.
On September 1, the FDNY released its findings which studied 9,853 firefighters - 8,927 of which were exposed to the airborne toxins - and concluded that firefighters who worked at the Ground Zero site after the attacks on September 11, 2011 were 19% more likely to get cancer than those who never worked at the site. The federally-funded study followed the firefighters over a seven-year period.
According to the study, there were 263 cases of cancer in the exposed group, 38 more cases that those who were not exposed to the toxins. The study also found that 27 firefighters who were at Ground Zero died of cancer. The FDNY will submit its findings to NIOSH.
The study was released approximately one and a half months after Dr. John Howard, who oversees the VCF program, concluded that there was not enough scientific evidence linking exposure to toxins at Ground Zero to cancer. He said other exposures associated with cancer - smoking, diet, genetic predispositions - cannot be linked to one event, such as the September 11, 2001 attacks.
"We are pleased to see our local elected officials pushing the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to take the FDNY findings into account and include cancer as one of the diseases covered under the Victim Compensation Fund," Mr. Rosasco said. "This federally-funded, peer-reviewed study shows that many firefighters were unaware of the hidden dangers to which they were exposed while working at Ground Zero."
"We would like to thank Ms. Maloney, Mr. Nadler and Mr. King for standing behind those who were sickened as the result of working at the Ground Zero site and their families," Mr. Hansen said. "The National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety made a premature decision not to have cancer covered under the Victim Compensation Fund. They should have waited until the FDNY completed its study and then they would have seen the evidence that there was a link between exposure to airborne toxins and cancer."
For more information, call 1(855) WTC-INFO or visit www.zadrogaclaimsinfo.com.