9/11 Responders Fight for Cancer Coverage

MyFoxNews - February 16, 2012

by MATT ALVAREZ and MYFOX NEW YORK STAFF

MYFOXNY.COM - Ground Zero responders have teamed up with public officials and others at City Hall on Wednesday to get a message across: Exposure to toxins in the rubble of the Twin Towers is causing blood, digestive, and pulmonary cancers and should be added to list of illnesses covered by the 9/11 health act.

In March the federal government will decide whether to include cancer in its list of ailments caused by the collapse of the world trade center.

In 2010, the Zadroga act was signed into law to cover health related issues that first responders got from 9/11, but cancer wasn't included.

Statistics reveal that at least 65 police officers and 60 firefighters have died of cancer since that fateful day.

Meantime, New York City has reached an agreement to give some information to Mount Sinai Medical Center, which is studying the health of Sept. 11 first responders, the AP reported.

Citing privacy restrictions, the city declined the hospital's November request for data on police officers, including names and addresses. Now the city said it would share a list of names and birth years.

The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association said that action isn't enough.

"We appreciate the belated gesture but believe that it provides no useful information in the short term and that the city's obligation to release information that will establish a cancer rate should still be memorialized in a law," said PBA President Patrick J. Lynch. "That we are over 10 years past the events of 9/11 and this data hasn't yet been turned over, even though hundreds of responders are suffering with cancers, confirms that a legal mandate is required, one that also obligates the City to publish the numbers of responders suffering cancers without identifying them."