New York, NY – U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer released the following statement today after Dr. John Howard, Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, issued a proposed rule to accept all of the Science/Technical Advisory Committee’s recommendations adding certain cancers to the list of covered conditions for World Trade Center Health Program. After reviewing the science supporting a link between the exposure to toxins at Ground Zero and developing cancer, the advisory committee recommended adding 14 categories of cancers, including those affecting the respiratory and digestive system. Two more peer-reviewed scientific studies are also expected to be released in the coming months which will be reviewed to determine whether additional cancers should be added to the list.
“We thank Dr. Howard and the Science/Technical Advisory Committee for their hard work and diligence which will get more of our 9-11 heroes suffering from cancer the treatment they deserve,” said Senators Gillibrand and Schumer. “This decision is a big step forward that backs up what we already know to be true – our heroes are sick and some are dying from cancer obtained by breathing the toxins at Ground Zero. But our work will not be done until all of our heroes suffering from cancer related to their work at Ground Zero get the help they deserve. For too many first responders and community survivors, this program has life and death consequences. We are confident that with the benefit of new peer-reviewed studies to come, we will be successful in ensuring that first responders and community survivors suffering from other cancers will also get the access to the program they so desperately need.”