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World Trade Center Emergency Workers
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Proper Recognition Sought for the True Heroes of 9/11

Aug 25, 2014

First responders and their families have raised objections to the wording on a descriptive panel at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum explaining the purpose of the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

The objection is to wording they say casts doubt on the source of illnesses that many of those involved in the rescue and recovery efforts have developed, the New York Post reports. The museum panel describes the Zadroga Act as intended to ensure medical treatment and financial compensation “for those with health conditions claimed to be related to the World Trade Center Disaster.” The first responders say that the use of the word “claimed” implies that their illnesses may not be linked to their exposure to toxic dust and other toxic substances during their service at Ground Zero.

In a recent editorial, the Post cautions that claims related to 9/1service need to be carefully evaluated. Fraudulent claims have been filed and the details of other cases have proven to be different from what was initially reported. The editorial notes that “it doesn’t help true heroes to say that anyone claiming to be one truly is one.” But many who worked at the site on 9/11 and in the following months developed cancers or other illnesses, in particular respiratory conditions, because of their exposure to toxic substances.

The federal Zadroga Act was named for the late New York Police Department detective James Zadroga. The act reopened the September 11 victim’s fund for five years to provide compensation for job and economic losses for first responders, those trapped in the buildings, and local residents who suffered illnesses related to the toxic dust. The deadline for filing a claim depends on when an illness was diagnosed and, for some, the deadline occurs in October 2014.

Detailed information about the cancers and illnesses covered and the filing process can be found at

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