Posted by Shelley Blas
A federal health official’s ruling brings vindication to hundreds, or possibly thousands, of people suffering from cancer said to be caused by massive dust clouds and debris from the September 11, 2001 attacks. This decision, by Dr. John Howard, Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, will allow 50 different types of cancer to finally be covered by the $4.3 billion fund set up to compensate and treat people exposed to the toxic smoke, dust, and fumes. The decision comes despite a lack of epidemiological evidence linking the attack to cancer. Dr. Howard contributes his decision based on a lengthy report, published last fall in the British journal The Lancet, which showed that firefighters exposed to the toxic fumes had a 19 percent higher risk of getting cancer than those who were not.