This user-generated content was contributed by the Office of Congressman Eliot Engel:
Congressman (D-NY-17) released the following statement after Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, said the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act will include cancer on the list of diseases covered by the law.
“I was one of the voices who called for the inclusion of cancer last year, and I am satisfied to see that the erroneous policy of omitting cancer has been reversed," Engel said. "So many of the first responders eventually died from cancer, or are currently suffering from this horrible disease, and it is important to show that our government will not be forsaking them."
"When the World Trade Center was hit, and America attacked on , first responders and volunteers did not ask if they would become sick and prematurely die as a result of their bravery. They did what was right, and they did their patriotic duty. It took Washington 10 years to pass the Zadroga Act, I am pleased to see it did not take another decade to treat the heroes from that day suffering from cancer.”
The law is designed to provide needed help to the many thousands exposed to toxins at Ground Zero, including 16,000 first responders, and at least 2,700 community residents who are sick and receiving treatment as a result of their work at Ground Zero. The decision to include cancer will incorporate 50 types of the disease.
Engel is a long-time supporter of the Zadroga Act, and an original co-sponsor. He is the senior New York Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and shepherded the bill through the Health Subcommittee, and the full Committee, as it made its way towards becoming law.
For more information, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/wtc/stac/cancer.html