9/11 Responders at Higher Cancer Risk

The firefighters who worked at the World Trade Center site in the weeks and months following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are at a greater risk of cancer than before, a study released Thursday reported. The findings came as a surprise, since most cancers typically can take 10 to 15 years to develop once someone is exposed to a carcinogen. The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, passed by Congress in July 2010, is designed to provide medical coverage for Sept. 11 first responders, but does not cover cancer after the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health said there was no evidence of a risk. But the new study published in the Lancet medical journal found that firefighters were at a 19 percent higher risk to develop cancers in the first seven years after being exposed to the toxic dust at ground zero.