A new study suspects that if you worked in the region of the World Trade Centre in 2001 you are more likely to develop cancer than those who are not. This is scientific evidence based on a possible link between work at ground zero and cancer.
The study which is published in the British Medical Journal The Lancert included almost 10,000 New York City fire fighters, most of whom were exposed to caustic dust and smoke created by the fall of the Twin Towers.
The findings indicate an “increased likelihood for the development of any type of cancer”, said Dr. David Prezant, the Chief Medical Officer for the New York City Fire Department who led the study.
The 9/11 Health and Compensation Act has set aside $4.3 billion to treat, compensate and monitor those suffering from health problems associated with the attacks and their aftermaths, like asthma and other respiratory ailments. US law requires officials to conduct various studies to assess whether to add illnesses to that list or not.
The study published by the British Medical Journal is the largest assessment of cancer to date and its impact on fire fighters who worked at Ground Zero.
The report studied cancer occurrence in nearly 10,000 male fire department personnel in the 7 years after September 11th. There were 253 cancer patients in the exposed population, making a cancer rate of 19% higher than that of the group. The cancer rate of the exposed group is only 10% higher than that of American men overall. The group of fire fighters who were not exposed had a lower rate than the general population which the researchers said may be as a result of their overall physical fitness and low smoking rate.
The research team said that the findings should be interpreted cautiously because many cancers caused by exposure to substances found at the site, including asbestos and jet fuel, can take decades to manifest.
The study also published other reports related to the September 11th attack, including one by researchers at the Mount Sinai Medical Centre showing persistence of respiratory, gastro intestinal and mental illness among rescue and recovery workers. It is felt that in time a connection between certain cancers and exposure to the trade centre site will be confirmed.