More Bad News For 9/11 Rescue Workers
WorldTradeCenter rescue and recovery workers are suffering from asthma at a rate that’s [12 times higher than normal], according to a [new Health Department survey](http://www.ehponline.org/members/2007/10248/10248.pdf) released yesterday. 3.6 percent of the more than 25,000 workers enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Registry report the condition, supporting previous findings that [70 percent of ground zero workers](http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/27/AR2007082700788.html) have suffered from lung problems. In the days following the attack, the Environmental Protection Agency assured the public that the air at ground zero was safe to breathe, despite having no evidence to support their claims.
Where and when workers worked also seemed to play a role. Those who worked “directly on the pile” and those who arrived at the site the day of the attacks and worked for more than 90 days had [especially high rates] of 7%. The data also show that workers who used masks or respirators during the recovery effort had [reduced rates](http://www.nypost.com/seven/08282007/news/regionalnews/heroes_gasping_at_9_11_asthma_.htm).
“It is clear that this was preventable,” New York Committee on Occupational Health and Safety’s Joel Schufro told NY1, “had the city and contractors instituted programs where workers were required to wear respirators, had trained workers appropriately to do so and created the conditions under which they could wear them.” The Health Department is currently conducting follow-up surveys to monitor workers’ health.
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