Deal for 9/11 Health Bill Reached in Senate

The PFF has closely followed the health challenges facing first responders following the events of 9/11, especially as it relates to an increase in respiratory disorders, including pulmonary fibrosis being reported by first responders following their heroic recovery efforts, primarily due to a variety of toxic airborne exposures they faced during the cleanup.

Recently, first responders reached a settlement with the City of New York over health damages claimed to be a result of their recovery efforts, and a summary of the settlement is provided below, courtesy of the New York Times.

The World Trade Center Commission has also reported that “late-emerging, chronic, and potentially fatal diseases such as cancer and pulmonary fibrosis may arise in the future”, and that “public concern about the potential appearance of 9/11 arising late emerging disease - like cancer and pulmonary fibrosis - remain prominent.”(1)

The PFF remains committed to advocating for the rights of first responders, including our support of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in September, 2010, and is currently awaiting action in the U.S. Senate. The PFF also supports efforts to study the long term impact of 9/11 on its first responders, which has the potential to shed new light on the cause and progression of IPF.

In March of 2010, the PFF released an editorial on this subject, Settlement Doesn’t “Settle” Risks, Concerns, Need for Continued Study of Lung Diseases Attributed to 9/11 Exposures, which was published in more than 200 newspapers, business journals, and media outlets.

1-Addressing the Health Impacts of 9/11; WTC Health Panel/M. Bloomberg

A deal has been reached in the Senate to approve a bill that
covers the cost of medical care for rescue workers and other
individuals who became sick after breathing in toxic fumes,
dust and smoke at the site of the 2001 attacks on the the
World Trade Center.

The action was a dramatic turn of events for a bill that
stalled in the upper chamber. Only 12 days ago, Senate
Republicans blocked the bill from coming to the floor for a
vote after raising concerns about its $7.4 billion cost.

But Republicans eventually backed down after facing a barrage
of criticism -- not just from Democrats but also from
traditional Republican allies, including former New York City
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and conservative news outlets like
Fox News.

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