Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Lung Problems Rife Among WTC Responders










AMY WESTFELDT / AP September 5 2006 (Entire Article)

Nearly 70 percent of recovery workers who responded to the attacks on the World Trade Center suffered lung problems during or after their work at ground zero, a new health study released Tuesday shows.

Less than a week before the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Mount Sinai Medical Center issued the results of the largest study on related health effects.

It found, among other things, that the ailments tended to be worst among those who arrived first at the site, and that high rates of lung "abnormalities" continued years later.

The study focused mostly on what has been dubbed "World Trade Center cough," which was little understood immediately after the attacks but became a chief concern of health experts and advocates.

Findings highlighted by the study include:

_ Almost 70 percent of World Trade Center responders had new or worsened lung symptoms after the attacks.

_ Among responders who had no health symptoms before the attacks, 61 percent developed lung symptoms while working on the toxic pile.

_ One-third of those tested had abnormal lung function tests.

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