First responders and firefighters were exposed to a lot of smoke and toxic dust when they went into the area that was the target of the 9/11 attacks in New York City. In a recent study it has been shown that the male firefighters have a nineteen percent higher risk of getting various cancers than there colleagues who were not exposed to the smoke and toxic dust.
This study was the first one to look at the cancer rates among all the exposed firefighters and they are hoping that the findings from this study will help to pave the way for federal health benefits for these rescue workers who are suffering ten years later from cancer. The study does show that exposure to the toxic dust and smoke led to the increase in the number of men who have gotten cancer.
The one cancer that the study did not find an increased risk of developing was lung cancer but this is one cancer that can take many years to develop. The firefighters that were working in the rubble of the World Trade Center were exposed to many known cancer causing agents. The number of firefighters that will develop cancer may rise because it sometimes takes five to twenty years for some cancers to develop.
In July a report was released by the director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health that stated there was not enough evidence yet to support the link between cancer and the 9/11 attacks. If they cannot get the evidence the firefighters and other rescue workers cannot received any payments for the treatment of their cancers.