Zadroga Act Panel Close to Making Cancer RecommendationMar 14, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP
A Zadroga Act advisory panel appears to be close to recommending that some specific cancers be covered by the act. The panel, consisting of 15 people, was set up by Congress and bears the responsibility of reviewing the ever-changing scientific and medical evidence and making recommendations about which conditions should be covered under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act's $2.8 billion Victim Compensation Fund. Cancer is currently excluded from because of insufficient scientific proof, but the evidence is slowly mounting.
Dr. Philip Landrigan, a dean at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, testified during the hearing before the panel last month about the findings of a yet-to-be published study by his team that reveals a 14 percent increase in cancer rates among rescue workers, including significant increases in prostate, thyroid and certain blood cancers. Surprisingly, the group had lower levels of common cancers like lung cancer.
The extent of contamination was demonstrated during the hearing when a police uniform that had been contaminated during the early efforts of the 9/11 rescue efforts and sealed around the same time tested positive for numerous cancer-causing chemicals more than 10 years after the nation’s largest terror attacks.
John Feal, founder of the FealGood Foundation, an advocacy group for 9/11 recovery workers, says the link with many types of cancer is too obvious to ignore. You’re playing God right now," he said. "Our fate is in your hands,” he said.