Study concludes 9/11 firefighters are 19% more likely to develop cancer

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Research led by the head doctor of the New York Fire Department, Dr David Prezant, has concluded that firefighters who attended Ground Zero, the site of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City, are 19% more likely to have cancer than similar firefighters who did not. The study was published in the September 3 issue of The Lancet.

The research compared 8927 firefighters who attended the World Trade Center to 926 of their colleagues who did not, over seven years.

Dr James Melius from the New York State Laborer's Health Fund said the new research has limitations. Having reviewed the study, he said, "It is a major study, but it is not definitive.We know cancers can take up to 40 years or more after exposure to appear, so we know we're nowhere near being able to count them all."

The 9/11 Federal Health Director, Dr John Howard, said, "I think it is plausible that many people will die of the many conditions we’ve seen due to their exposure." However, the link between 9/11 and cancer has not been officially recognized. Dr Howard would be responsible for that determination. Due to this, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act does not currently cover cancer treatment of 9/11 rescue workers.

9/11 rescue workers have been previously shown more likely to have respiratory conditions.