World Trade Center (WTC) rescuers have persistent health woes
WTC rescuers have persistent health woes
Sunday, December 15, 2002 Posted: 10:36 AM EST (1536 GMT)
NEW YORK (AP) -- More than half of the 2,500 World Trade Center rescue workers who have been screened for health problems under a federally funded program remain sick with a variety of illnesses.
Since last spring, doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital have been seeking out Ground Zero workers whose health suffered because of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
More than half of the people screened so far have been diagnosed with persistent upper respiratory inflammation. Post-traumautic stress disorder has also been found in more than half of the people tested, and about 20 percent have acid reflux, or heartburn, researchers said.
"These rates of abnormality are striking a year and three months after the event," Stephen Levin, head of the hospital's center for occupational and environmental medicine, told the Daily News in Sunday editions.
"People are coming to us with shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, asthma," he said. "This is an urgent public health matter."
There have been questions about health hazards at the trade center site since the terror attacks last year, when the collapse of the twin towers sent dust clouds rolling through lower Manhattan.
The project, which was announced last May, is being financed by $12 million in federal funding.