9/11 Illnesses Haunt Journalists

Those who covered Ground Zero report breathing problems, other ailments
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Mar 12, 2008 11:52 AM CDT
The smoke that blanketed Ground Zero, shown in this photo, contained many carcinogens that have caused illnesses to journalists.   ((c) jebb)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The helicopter ride through the burning World Trader Center's thick, chemical-laden smoke won Keith Meyers' 9/11 photos a share of the Pulitzer, but he says it cost him his health and career. "I could feel my skin tingling and burning," recalls the former New York Times photographer. Like Meyers, many journalists suffer illnesses matching those of Ground Zero workers, but their plight has drawn less attention—even in the media, reports Photo District News.

The New York Press Photographers Association is lobbying to extend the 9/11-related workers' comp deadline for journalists, on the heels of a survey that reported asthma, persistent coughing, and PTSD among 161 journalists. Still, Meyers says he has no regrets about covering Ground Zero, “but if I did again I would be a hell of a lot more careful.”