1,100 to get cancer care under WTC Health Program

Sept. 12, 2013 at 1:32 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. officials said 1,100 people who lived or worked near the World Trade Center Sept. 11, 2001, are certified for cancer care under the WTC Health Program.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has begun offering medical insurance to affected people, one year after federal health officials added 58 types of cancer to illnesses covered under the plan for people who were exposed to toxins at Ground Zero when terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center Twin Towers, CNN reported.

WTC Health Plan Administrator Dr. John Howard had said in 2011 the WTC compensation fund would not cover cancer treatment because "published scientific and medical findings" at the time did not establish a clear connection between cancer and exposure to toxins at Ground Zero.

A 2011 study that concluded firefighters working at Ground Zero were 19 percent more likely than others to get cancer, helped convince government health officials to add cancer to the list of diseases covered under the WTC Health Program, CNN said.

The program was established under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, named after a New York Police Department officer whose death from respiratory disease was blamed on exposure to toxic matter at Ground Zero.

It has been expanded to provide coverage for first responders at the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon attack and the Shanksville, Pa., crash of United Airlines Flight 93 after passengers rushed the cockpit and overpowered hijackers.

To determine eligibility for the WTC Health Program, visit www.cdc.gov/wtc.

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