A Push to Reauthorize James Zadroga Act. On September 8, a group of lawmakers, first responders, and community and labor leaders gathered at Ground Zero to begin a push to reauthorize and extend the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The Zadroga Act was passed in December 2010 to provide medical treatment and compensation for 9/11 first responders, recovery workers and volunteers, and community survivors.
Unless the Zadroga Act is reauthorized, the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund will expire in October 2015 and October 2016 respectively, 9/11 Health Watch reports. Later this month, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer will introduce the Zadroga reauthorization to extend the programs for 25 more years.
Extending critically needed medical treatment and compensation programs.
Today, 13 years after the terrorist attacks, many 9/11 responders and survivors have developed serious health problems because of toxic exposure at Ground Zero. More than 30,000 people suffer from injuries and illnesses related to the attacks and their aftermath. The illnesses include cancers, asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Many are disabled and can no longer work. Medical research has identified more than 60 types of cancer caused by 9/11 toxins and studies have shown that WTC rescue and recovery workers have developed prostate and thyroid cancer, leukemia, and multiple myeloma at a significantly higher rate than the general population, 9/11 Health Watch says.
At the September 8 gathering, Senator Schumer said extending critically needed medical treatment and compensation programs for “brave first responders” must be a “top priority” for Congress. New York mayor Bill de Blasio said, “We have a moral obligation to make sure that these heroes and their families get the medical treatment and compensation they deserve.”
The WTC Health Program is a lifeline for many, according to 9/11 Health Watch. The number of 9/11-related cancer cases among rescue workers and responders continues to grow. More than 2,900 individuals have been diagnosed with 9/11-related cancers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
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