400,000 people have 9/11-linked health issues: Report
Over 400,000 people have been diagnosed with cancer and other health conditions related to the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, a new report reveals.
According to a report published on Wednesday by Newsweek, as of June, a total of 5,441 of the 75,000 people enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program have developed at least one type of cancer related to the attacks.
Some of the patients have been diagnosed with more than one type of cancer, bringing the total number of cancer cases to 6,378, the report added.
Altogether, some 70 types of cancer have been linked to Ground Zero, according to Doctors with the World Trade Center Health Program, which was created by the federal government in the aftermath of the attacks.
According to the report, which was published several days before the 15th anniversary of the attacks, mental illnesses, similar to the ones Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans experience, along with respiratory issues were some of the other common conditions that patients have been dealing with.
The report noted that about 1,140 people have died from their 9/11-related symptoms ever since the attacks took place.
Rescue workers and people who were exposed to what doctors now call “the World Trade Center disaster area” comprise most of the victims.
On the day of the attack, a massive plume of carcinogens was released into the air when the two WTC towers came down, turning downtown New York City into a cesspool of cancer and other diseases.
According to a report by environmental advocacy group National Resources Defense Council, the north tower contained at least 400 tons of asbestos.
Other life threatening substances such as lead and mercury were released into the air when office furniture, computers and fluorescent lights inside the building started to burn.
“An environmental emergency such as this, with hundreds, if not thousands, of toxic components simultaneously discharged into the air on the scale of September 11th is unprecedented,” the New York-based organization wrote.
A later study revealed that the chemical contaminants at the Ground Zero continued to show up in the tests for weeks. This was attributed to the strange fires there that continued to burn for more than 90 days.
According to New York officials, the real extent of the contamination and its side-effects will likely never be known.
“Many people don’t connect the symptoms they have today to September 11,” said Mark Farfel, director of the World Trade Center Health Registry, which tracks the health of more than 71,000 rescue workers and survivors.