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  1. #1
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    9/11 First responders death toll nears 1,000

    As death toll of 9/11 responders nears 1,000, pols want autopsy standards to pinpoint causes
    BY Michael Mcauliff
    DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU

    Thursday, November 11th 2010, 4:00 AM

    WASHINGTON - The staggering death toll for Ground Zero responders has soared past 916 - and still no one knows what really killed them.

    Now, nine years after the terror attacks, doctors and some New York lawmakers are urging the federal Department of Health and Human Services to draft autopsy protocols to pinpoint 9/11-related fatalities, the Daily News has learned.

    Astonishingly, there are no written standards to help doctors diagnose post-9/11 deaths, leaving a void that's wreaked enormous emotional pain and conflict on survivors.

    "It was heart-wrenching," said Joe Zadroga, who watched his NYPD officer son, James, slowly deteriorate from scarred lungs until he died in 2007.

    Relatives and friends know in their hearts what really killed the hero in their family - even if health officials refuse to recognize it.

    "I mean, we knew what he died from. We dealt with it for four years," Zadroga added.

    A medical examiner in New Jersey had ruled James Zadroga died from 9/11 exposure, only to have the city declare - for a time - that drug abuse killed him.

    The city later relented, but Zadroga is one of only a handful of people whose death has been officially linked to the toxins of the ruined twin towers.

    "Many of the responders who worked at the site and other survivors are dying," Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-Manhattan), Pete King (R-L.I.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) say in a letter to the feds, obtained by The News.

    In a study released in June last year, state officials identified 836 responders who have died since 9/11. Advocates know of at least 80 more, and doctors believe the total will be well over 1,000 in the next survey this year.

    "We do not know to what extent WTC exposures contributed to their deaths, or whether their deaths were unrelated," the lawmakers wrote, seeking a set of guidelines.

    Such autopsy rules could have huge impacts on people who believe terrorists are to blame for killing their loved ones.

    "It is very emotional," said Jim Melius, who oversees the 9/11 health-monitoring program.

    He says autopsies would help doctors understand Ground Zero illnesses and craft better treatments.

    But autopsies could be double-edged, with some deaths determined to have had little to do with exposure.

    "It needs to be carefully explained," Melius said, noting a lot can be at stake in work benefits and potential payouts from the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, stuck in Congress.

    One advantage could be culling bogus claims that some Republicans say would plague a new 9/11 compensation act.

    Joe Zadroga, for one, is all for it.

    "I agree with setting some standards so there wouldn't be fraud," he said.

    In most cases, it's an easy call. "Most of these guys who are dying are dying from lung conditions and cancers," he said. "My son's lungs were like leather."

  2. #2
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    The article does not give important data. How many first responders were there on 9/11 and who do you consider a first responder. Would those who arrived at Fresh Kills a week later to help sort thru rubble be first responders? Are we talking 1,000 dead ten years later out of 10,000 first responders, or out of 30,000?

    Considering the age, occupation etc of the dead, how significant are the mortality figures? Some public health and actuary types specialize in crunching this data.

    Also if someone experienced major mental trauma from the event, would their later alcoholism or drug use have been a logical result that they would not have experienced otherwise. Is there alcoholism in their family, etc.

    In other words this is complicated and emotional at the same time, just like the Agent Orange and Gulf War Syndrome issues with the VA. Making sure deserving people get their due versus avoiding an unjustified run on the bank.
    "I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them." John Wayne in "The Shootist".

  3. #3
    IrishGrunt Guest
    The most telling quote:

    "He says autopsies would help doctors understand Ground Zero illnesses and craft better treatments.

    But autopsies could be double-edged, with some deaths determined to have had little to do with exposure."

    A pack a day smoker who battles of lung problems probably ought not get a payout or coverage on this, given that he trashed his own lungs. An otherwise healthy person is another issue altogether.
    Sad story all around.

  4. #4
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    A little insight into this tricky situation.

    So far, the more serious conditions that they ARE relating to 9/11 are cancer of the larynx, leukemia, lung cancer, lymphoma, malignant mesothelioma and multiple myeloma. Along with being diagnosed with these cancers, they ask/determine if the person was a prior smoker, for how long, etc. Most of those who have died (that 1,000 figure) have died from these listed conditions. Basically you had relatively healthy people who prior to 9/11 did not display any of these conditions/cancers nor were exposed to conditions where they would have acquired these conditions/cancers. So for someone like Detective Zadroga, he worked hundreds of hours at Ground Zero and was in relatively good health. He very slowly (several months) died a painful death as his body slowly began to stop processing oxygen. Voluminous other died in the same manner - so assumptions as to how they acquired the diseases were made - 9/11 related.

  5. #5
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    9/11 Exposure

    I wonder if prophylactic chemotherapy has been considered. Certainly, it must have been, considering the location. I also wonder how much asbestos was nebulized when the buildings collapsed. There's just no study, that I'm familiar with, that can be utilized as a baseline for this type of exposure. I wish the best to those who are suffering.
    Stay safe!

    FedAgent

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishGrunt View Post
    A pack a day smoker who battles of lung problems probably ought not get a payout or coverage on this, given that he trashed his own lungs. An otherwise healthy person is another issue altogether. Sad story all around.
    I guess the experts will have to weigh in on this issue to decide if the huge clouds of dust from the collapsed buildings caused premature death in people. My hunch is that it did, but my opinion is not the same as the necessary evidence gathering.

    Certain areas of the country are suspected cancer clusters for various reasons such as leakage from Underground Storage Tanks, etc. People in the area get cancer. Statistically, did too many people get cancer? We may be talking five cases in a small town instead of the anticipated two.

    Did the seepage into the ground water cause it, or something else as yet unknown such as exposure to pesticide or a new kind of glue used to hold down carpets in the schools. Erin Brockavitch makes it look too obvious.

    I'd hate to be an insurance adjuster facing the survivors in any of these situations.
    "I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them." John Wayne in "The Shootist".

  7. #7
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    I have no solid answers either, other than, on the NYPD side of the house, the average number of active duty deaths per year (active duty - meaning the officer is still active and not retired from the job) is usually in the tens and from 'normal' conditions such as heart disease, etc... -- Conditions that are not necessarily abnormal. ---- Now, post 9/11 instead of let's say 10 to 20 officers dying per year from more 'normal' or known conditions (due to execssive smoking, poor diet and family history), we have somewhere around 100 per year (average) and dying from 'abnormal' conditions/cancers, many related to asbestos and other toxic exposures and none of the 'victims' having prior exposure to asbestos, etc..

    Now, a little more insight into what was happening back then in 2001 and 2002. Everyday at Fresh Kills landfill, where we dug through the debris looking for evidence and body parts (this lasted a few years), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (then led by Christie Whitman), had a chart posted everyday at the landfill - they updated the chart twice a day. The chart showed us the amount of asbestos and other toxins in the air. So, the asbestos was there and so were tons of other deadly toxins. We were working in an environment that had confirmed varying levels of these deadly elements in the air on a constant basis. We ate lunch and dinner and breakfast at this site, in a tent - anyone think these deadly toxins didn't make their way into the tents or our foods and drinks? How about our cars and into our air intake systems and into the passenegr compartments of our cars.

    Also, it is no accident that most of the officers who are sick are from the Organized Crime Control Bureau (they worked there everyday, every shift - Detective Bureau folks worked there on average a couple of time per month, each).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by papimike View Post
    I have no solid answers either, other than, on the NYPD side of the house, the average number of active duty deaths per year (active duty - meaning the officer is still active and not retired from the job) is usually in the tens and from 'normal' conditions such as heart disease, etc... -- Conditions that are not necessarily abnormal. ---- Now, post 9/11 instead of let's say 10 to 20 officers dying per year from more 'normal' or known conditions (due to execssive smoking, poor diet and family history), we have somewhere around 100 per year (average) and dying from 'abnormal' conditions/cancers, many related to asbestos and other toxic exposures and none of the 'victims' having prior exposure to asbestos, etc..
    Good luck to those suffering from these medical problems. Money may not give them new lungs, but its all the government (federal, state or city) can do. That and developing new SOPs for personal protection if this happens again.
    "I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them." John Wayne in "The Shootist".

  9. #9
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    That's it brother. For those that are already dead, money is meaningless and not of any use. For those gravely ill right now, they most definitely would rather have their health than even one trillion dollars. And for those of us who are still in the unknown zone, we'd all rather have our health now and in the future than any cash. And don't let the media fool you, the current lawsuit has an almost 1 billion dollar payout, but the attorneys are getting about 300 million of it and the rest of the money will be dished out to the 10,000 litigants -not shared equally - the vast majority will only get about $5,000 - and the very sick will get a few hundred thousand or a million each.

    Now, a bit more insight - many are sick (myself included) - but these sickness are not deeemed related to 9/11 as per the attorneys involved. Many of these sicknesses are blood related or lung related. -- Are they 9/11 related??? Who knows - we aren't sick enough, and there will probably be no way to ever associate these various illnesses with 9/11.
    Last edited by papimike; 11-15-2010 at 03:20.

  10. #10
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    I'm saddened to add yet another name to Bin Ladins post 9/11/01 death toll list. Police Officer Mahmoud, who we laid to rest yesterday. Again, another death that can't be tied to 9/11 by experts. But we can state the facts. He worked at Ground Zero for months. He was healthy prior to 9/11/01. He died from a rare cancer of his nasal passages. Treatment during his years long ordeal required removal of his nose. The cancer did what other cancers did, it slowly, painfully ate away at his body, until his body shut down. He leaves behind a wife and 3 daughters. He had 15 years on the job.


 

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