05:30:08 pm, by Bill Walsh CIH | 988 views | 0 comments
The September edition of “The Lancet”, one of the oldest and most respected peer-reviewed medical journals is dedicated to three studies of first responders to the emergency.
The first study followed 9,853 male firefighters whose cancer incidence both before and after the attacks. They also studied cancer rated among unexposed firefighters.
o WTC exposed firefighters had 263 cases of cancer compared to 135 in the non-exposed group. Statistical studies of a similarly sized group of the general NYC population would predict 161 cases in the non-exposed group. Researchers feel that firefighters in general are healthier and less likely to smoke, explaining the lower incidence.
o This indicates that exposed firefighters have a 10% greater chance of developing cancer than the general population and a 19% greater chance than non-exposed firefighters. The authors feel that this is probably a result of carcinogens entrained in the dust clouds generated by the collapse.
The second study followed 27, 449 rescue workers. The researchers tried to weight the data by days at the site and exposure to the dust cloud. In particular, there was originally concern that the alkaline nature of the dust cloud could cause respiratory disease. Within the next 9 years following exposure, the following rates of incidence occurred with the incidence generally increasing along with exposure.
o Asthma – 28%
o GERD – 39%
o Sinusitis – 42%
o Spirometric Abnormalities – 42%
The last study unexpectedly found that all-cause mortality rates among rescue workers and civilians involved in the WTC attacks had lower death rates than a general sampling of the NYC population. People involved in the attacks who were registered in the WTC Health Registry had a 43% lower mortality rate than the general population. Researchers explained these findings as follows:
o People who were involved in the attacks tended to be employed. Employed people tend to be healthier than the overall population.
o Voluntary participants in studies such as this tend to be healthier than the general population.
o Many of the expected diseases resulting from exposure have a long latency and survival periods. The researchers expect the death rate to increase among people exposed over time as opposed to the general population.
The authors of all the studies emphasize the need for continued monitoring of the people exposed during the attacks. As the exposed population continues to age, the effects of the exposure are expected to become more apparent.
Categories: Technical News