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How 9/11 affected first responder's, survivor's long term health

Twin Towers New York 9/11 Sept. 11
Posted at 7:34 AM, Sep 07, 2021

UNDATED — New research shows that the rescue crews who were among the first to arrive on the scene during the terror attacks of 9/11 are 30% more likely to experience breathing issues than those who arrived later.

Researchers studied 18,000 responders who took at least two tests to measure lung health, and compared the timing of each responder's arrival at Ground Zero. They found that those who responded to the scene first were more likely to develop medical problems like lung inflammation and emphysema.

This isn't the first time health experts have evaluated first responders and survivors of the attacks. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control has an entire program dedicated to tracking the health of those who were at Ground Zero that day.

The World Trade Center Health Program was commissioned as part of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. That act has now been extended until 2090. According to the CDC, there are over 81,000 first responders (81,460) and more than 30,000 survivors (30,582) registered for the program, which both studies their conditions and offers healthcare to those in need. Some of the research the program has conducted found that more than 46,000 living participants say they currently experience aerodigestive issues. More than 22,000 say they have cancer, and more than 18,000 have mental health concerns. That does not include the more than 3,000 people who have died since signing up for the program.

Florida has between 1,000 and 10,000 people registered for the program. There are currently 107,415 living participants in the program. The center has certain diseases that have been labeled "Certified conditions", which means they have been found to be linked in some way to the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The top 10 certified conditions include Chronic Rhinosinusitis, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Cancers, Asthma, Sleep Apnea, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Chronic Respiratory Disorder, Exacerbated Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder.