Majority of 9/11 First-Responders have been Diagnosed with Illness, but 83% Alive Today: Due to Early Detection

Majority of 9/11 First-Responders have been Diagnosed with Illness, but 83% Alive Today: Due to Early Detection

     Not only did 343 New York City firefighters die on Sept. 11, 2001, but, in the 20 years since, 254 FDNY members, most of whom were exposed to toxic chemicals at Ground Zero for up to 10 months, have died of 9/11-related illnesses.

     In addition, a new FDNY study shows that, 20 years later, more than two-thirds of the 16,000 New York City firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs), who were the first to respond to the New Yorkers who were stuck in the two buildings that were hit by planes hijacked by Al Qaeda terrorists, now are suffering from several long-term illnesses.

     The FDNY members and EMTs, not only ran toward the burning World Trade Centers to rescue their inhabitants, but first-responders continued their rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero for 10 months: every day breathing in dust, particulates, noxious gases, chemicals, and fibers that have proved to quite harmful in the long-term.

     "This intense environmental exposure is directly related to many of the symptoms and illnesses," said a reported released today by the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program.

     More than 11,300 of New York first-responders to 9/11 have been now diagnosed with at least one physical illness, such as cancer, asthma, and reflux, said the report, which added that some of the 3,097 emergency workers who have cancer, have been diagnosed with more than one type of cancer.

     In addition, more than 40% of the firefighters and 19% of the emergency workers who were exposed to the chemicals and the 9/11 wreckage now suffer from gastrointestinal reflux disease, lower respiratory diseases, and upper respiratory diseases.

     Mental health issues, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, were also reported. 

     The good news is that 83% of the FDNY members who were diagnosed five to 10 years ago are alive and healthy today, the FDNY report revealed.

     “[The health of our members] is a testament to the benefits of early detection and treatment," the report said.

Photo by: Robert (wikimedia)

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