NYT: Tracing Lung Ailments That Rose With 9/11 Dust

May 13, 2006

Tracing Lung Ailments That Rose With 9/11 Dust – New York Times
After nearly five years, it is still too early for these doctors, scientists and forensic pathologists to say with certainty whether any long-term cancer threat came with exposure to the toxic cloud unleashed by the trade center collapse. But there are already clear signs that the dust, smoke and ash that responders breathed in have led to an increase in diseases that scar the lungs and reduce their capacity to take in and let out air.

The Fire Department tracked a startling increase in cases of a particular lung scarring disease, known as sarcoidosis, among firefighters, which rose to five times the expected rate in the two years after Sept. 11. Though that rate has declined, doctors worry that the disease may be lurking in other firefighters. Experts who regularly see workers who were at ground zero in the 48 hours after the towers’ collapse expect monitoring to show many more cases of lung- scarring disorders among that group.

New evidence also suggests that workers who arrived later or worked on the periphery may also be susceptible to debilitating lung ailments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *