9/11 FIREFIGHTERS ARE GETTING CANCER AT A FASTER RATE THAN OTHERS, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER REVEALS
Firefighters who recovered bodies at Ground Zero are developing cancer at a faster rate than those who worked before the atrocity, medical officials have revealed.
Some types of cancer among 9/11 firefighters are even ‘bizarrely off the charts’, according to sources who have seen the as-yet-undisclosed federal-funded study.
Dr. David Prezant, the Fire Department’s chief medical officer, has reportedly said that cancer cases across ‘all ranks’ of the FDNY who worked at Ground Zero are ‘up significantly’.
It is thought that the report – due to be officially disclosed in time for the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks in September – cites unusual rises in leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
The report also states increases in esophageal, prostate and thyroid cancers.
Although officials have yet to confirm the increase, sources who attended a recent steering-committee meeting said Dr. Prezant’s report will document the cancer increase.
One source told the New York Post: ‘The only conclusion that could have been reached was that there was an increase in the cancer rate for firefighters after 9/11.’
Minutes of the meeting quote Prezant as saying that ‘we have completed our seven-year cancer study’ and that he planned to present it to the fire unions.
A doctor from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is said to have asked Dr. Prezant: ‘In the past, you mentioned about the rates before being somewhat similar — what led to the change that you noted the increase?’
Prezant said researchers have compiled medical records for three years and had access to state cancer registries, though New York’s is three years behind.
Dr. Prezant reportedly told the group: ‘Those things keep adding cases
The report would be the first to document a cancer-rate increase among rescue and recovery workers.
The city recently settled lawsuits by 10,000 WTC workers, more than 600 of whom have developed cancer.
But officials have so far insisted there is no scientific proof that Ground Zero smoke and dust caused cancer.
An FDNY spokesman gave a statement for Dr. Prezant, saying: ‘The study is ongoing, and no conclusions have been reached on whether cancer rates have increased for firefighters.’
But fire union bosses in New York have expressed their concern about the findings.
Al Hagan, head of the fire-officers union, told the New York Post: ‘I’m led to believe that the numbers for those cancers across all ranks in the Fire Department of people who worked at Ground Zero is up significantly, and we’re all very concerned about it, as are our families.’
Steve Cassidy, president of the firefighters union, said Ground Zero’s ‘toxic stew’ has proven lethal.
He said: ‘It’s a fact that New York City firefighters are dying of cancer in record numbers.
‘We have buried 10 firefighters in just the last 15 weeks, seven with cancer. On Sept. 10, 2001, they were young, healthy firefighters.’
In 2007, doctors at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, which monitors World Trade Center rescue workers, noted blood cancers like multiple myeloma, which normally strikes in the 60s or 70s, were being found in relatively young officers.
The New York state Health Department has confirmed that 345 Ground Zero workers have died of various cancers as of June 2010.