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World Trade Center Emergency Workers
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More Than 2,500 Ground Zero Workers Have Cancer

Aug 1, 2014

The number of Ground Zero responders who have been diagnosed with cancer more than doubled this past year.

The World Trade Center Health Program counted 1,655 responders with cancer, bringing the total to 2,518, the New York Post reports. This includes police, firefighters, EMTs, construction and sanitation workers, and volunteers. John Vobecky, who works in construction and recently visited the 911 memorial, said he fears the cancer numbers will continue to rise “in the next 5 or even 10 years.” There have been 1,145 compensation claims listing cancer, but according to the Post, only 115 claims have been awarded. Some ailing first responders worry they won’t be compensated until after they die, WPIX reports.

Many who took part in the 9/11 rescue and recovery developed serious illnesses at the time through exposure to toxic dust in the air, but others did not become ill until years later. The toxins caused cancers and other illnesses that took years to develop. The New York Daily News says that as many as 65,000 people are part of World Trade Center medical monitoring and treatment programs. The federal Zadroga Act, named for the late New York Police Department detective James Zadroga, was enacted in December 2010 to extend the September 11 compensation fund for five years to compensate first responders, volunteers, and local residents who suffered illnesses related to the toxins at the site.

A detailed listing of the cancer types covered and information about filing deadlines and the registration process can be found at the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund site:

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