World Trade Center Health Program : first decade of research
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World Trade Center Health Program : first decade of research

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    This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the 10th year of the World Trade Center Health Program. The September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City (NYC), the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the plane crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania resulted in nearly 3,000 deaths and thousands of injuries. The devastation caused physical hazards as well as a massive dust cloud, consisting of pulverized building materials, electronic equipment, and furniture which blanketed the World Trade Center site and the surrounding area. It is estimated that nearly a half million people are at increased risk of adverse health effects from exposures to physical, psychological, and emotional stressors in the days, weeks, and months following the terrorist attacks. One of the early responders to the scene at the World Trade Center was James Zadroga, a New York City Police Department detective. He later died of a respiratory disease that has been attributed to his participation in rescue and recovery operations in the rubble of the World Trade Center site. In remembrance of his efforts and those of his colleagues, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (the Zadroga Act) was signed into law creating the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP). The WTCHP is administered by the director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The WTCHP provides medical monitoring and treatment for emergency responders, recovery and cleanup workers, and volunteers who helped at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the crash site near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. This includes treatment for adverse health effects from exposures to physical, psychological, and emotional stressors resulting from the terrorist’s attacks. The Program also provides initial screenings and treatment to those who were present on the day of the attacks or who worked, lived, or went to school in the New York City disaster area on September 11th or the months that followed.
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