Federal lawmakers from New York are pushing for cancer to be covered by a free-care fund for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks after a study linked exposure to World Trade Center smoke and dust to the disease.
Democrats Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler and Republican Peter King, all members of the House of Representatives, will request that the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health consider a Lancet study that showed firefighters in the terror attacks had a 19 percent higher risk of cancer than peers who weren’t there. The study was published Sept. 1.
The research was the first to tie a higher cancer risk to first responders. In a petition, the representatives are calling for a review of a law that fails to include cancer in free care provided for Sept. 11 victims.
“For us, the evidence is there,” Ilan Kayatsky, a spokesman for Nadler, said in a telephone interview. “This is the peer-reviewed study a lot of us were waiting for.”
In a July report, NIOSH said there isn’t enough evidence to link the World Trade Center’s smoke and dust to cancer. The next time the evidence for including cancer would be reviewed is next year, said Kayatsky.