Thirteen years after the events of September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center Health Program has begun reporting the results of treating the more than 2,300 New York City firefighters and other rescue workers who sought to aid the injured after the attacks. The results are grim, according to a recent news report from NBC New York.
Currently, the workers who are being tracked by the program have been diagnosed with conditions like cancer, respiratory disease, diabetes, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital recently announced that two more conditions will need significant study in the coming years: heart and kidney diseases, related not to old age in the rescue workers, but to exposure to lead and other heavy metals. The hospital has launched a two-year study of these conditions, funded by a grant from the World Trade Center Health Program.
Currently, about 550 first responders are being asked to participate in the study, which will track symptoms related to heart and kidney disease as well as assess the levels of lead, mercury, and cadmium in the patients’ blood. In addition to causing potential damage to the circulatory system, lead is a potent neurotoxin that may also play a role in patients with psychiatric symptoms after working in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, say some researchers. A better understanding of lead and other heavy metals will help researchers treat first responders more effectively.
If you’re suffering the effects of lead poisoning after exposure to a defective product or a workplace accident, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced New York lead injury lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP. Your initial consultation is free and confidential.