No Benefits for 9/11 Responders With Cancer

Not enough evidence links WTC toxins to cancer, review decides
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2011 6:17 AM CDT
Workers in a pile of rubble at Ground Zero, September 22, 2001.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – There isn't enough evidence linking working at Ground Zero to cancer to justify compensating 9/11 responders for cancer treatments, a federal review has concluded. The benefits-providing Zadroga Act that was signed into law earlier this year requires periodic reviews of any evidence of cancer, the New York Times reports. But the report, released yesterday, noted that "drawing causal inferences about exposures resulting from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the observation of cancer cases in responders and survivors is especially challenging since cancer is not a rare disease."

The Times notes that one in two men and one in three women will develop cancer during their lives; such a high probability makes it tougher to prove the 9/11 link. But "so many people have gotten such rare cancers—and at such young ages—that it seems obvious there must be a link," Sen. Charles Schumer said. "We believe this report is premature and that the framework established by the Zadroga bill will demonstrate that those who were exposed to the witches' brew of toxins at Ground Zero have developed serious illnesses, including cancer, and deserve justice." The second review of cancer evidence will occur in the early part of next year.

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