Researchers think 9/11 gave first responders cancer—but proving it will be nearly impossible

Popular Science | 4/26/2018 | Staff
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“It’s been an incremental evolution. We’ve always done extensive [health] exams pre-hire,” he says. “They included chest x-rays, but not until 1996 did the pre-hire exams and the annual exams expand to include pulmonary function tests. And not until 9/11 did it expand to include blood banking, chest CT scans, and many of the things we’re looking at now.”

While early research focused on cardiopulmonary function—Prezant’s speciality and an area of great concern in the context of World Trade Center first response—the two studies published in JAMA are rather different. The first, led by Prezant, provides an estimate of future cancer burden among this population. The second, led by Verma, looks at this firefighting population’s rates of the blood cancer multiple myeloma specifically.

Study - Researchers - Group - Firefighters - Age

In the first study, researchers isolated a group of white male firefighters with a mean age around 50 who were at the World Trade Center site in the days and months after 9/11. They then compared their projected risk of cancer compared to average New Yorkers of the same race, gender, and age. The researchers report that among World Trade Center-exposed firefighters, one...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Popular Science
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