The Healthcare They So Desperately Need. NIOSH Decision to Add Cancer to the List of Eligible Zadroga Act Illnesses Paves the Way for Potentially Thousands of WTC First Responders to Access the Healthcare they So Desperately Need
The national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP applauds the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on its decision to recognize the association between toxic Ground Zero dust and many forms of cancer. Coming more than a decade after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, NIOSH’s decision to make more than 50 cancers eligible for compensation under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act finally paves the way for potentially thousands of heroic, but now cancer-stricken Ground Zero first responders to access the healthcare they so desperately need.
The Zadroga Act, which became law in December 2010, was named for deceased New York Police Department detective James Zadroga, who had worked at Ground Zero. Many of the individuals who participated in the rescue and recovery efforts following the 9/11 terrorist attacks have since been diagnosed with various illnesses because of their exposure to toxic dust. The Zadroga Act reopened the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund for five years to provide payment for job and economic losses for first responders, those trapped in the buildings, and local residents, who suffered illness or injuries related to the toxic dust.
The List of Zadroga Act Illnesses.
According to Parker Waichman LLP, NIOSH had initially not included any cancers on the list of Zadroga Act illnesses. In March, however, the World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee recommended that dozens of cancers be added to the list of illnesses covered under the Zadroga Act. Since then, sickened Ground Zero first responders and their advocates have anxiously awaited NIOSH’s decision on whether or not to accept those recommendations.
With today’s announcement, 50 cancers will now be deemed Zadroga Act covered illnesses, including:
Malignant neoplasms of the lip, tongue, salivary gland, floor of mouth, gum and other mouth, tonsil oropharynx, hypopharynx, and other oral cavity and pharynx
Malignant neoplasm of the nasopharynx
Malignant neoplasms of the nose, nasal cavity, middle ear, and accessory sinuses
Malignant neoplasm of the larynx
Malignant neoplasm of the esophagus
Malignant neoplasm of the stomach
Malignant neoplasm of the colon and rectum
Malignant neoplasm of the liver and intrahepatic bile duct
Malignant neoplasms of the retroperitoneum and peritoneum, omentum, and mesentery
Malignant neoplasms of the trachea; bronchus and lung; heart, mediastinum and pleura; and other ill defined sites in the respiratory system and intrathoracic organs
Malignant neoplasms of the soft tissues (sarcomas)
Malignant neoplasms of the skin (melanoma and nonmelanoma), including scrotal cancer
Malignant neoplasm of the breast
Malignant neoplasm of the ovary
Malignant neoplasm of the urinary bladder
Malignant neoplasm of the kidney
Malignant neoplasms of renal pelvis, ureter and other urinary organs
Malignant neoplasms of the eye and orbit
Malignant neoplasm of the thyroid
Malignant neoplasms of the blood and lymphoid tissues (including, but not limited to, lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma)
“While we had faith this day would eventually come, the fact that this announcement comes on the eve of September 11th is not lost on anyone,” says Matthew J. McCauley, who is the leading attorney in the WTC/Zadroga group at Parker Waichman LLP and a former NYPD Officer and WTC First Responder. “Today, tomorrow and for the rest of our lives, we will honor our 9/11 Heroes and continue to stand by them and their families for the ultimate sacrifices they have made.”
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