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Thread: N.Y. disaster's long-term health effects to be studied

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    N.Y. disaster's long-term health effects to be studied

    N.Y. disaster's long-term health effects to be studied

    Copyright 2003 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    The Atlanta Journal and Constitution...01/03/2003

    M.A.J. MCKENNA

    A sister agency to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is launching a $ 20 million, 200,000-person study of the long-term health effects of the World Trade Center disaster.

    The World Trade Center Registry will collect health information from those who were living, working or going to school in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, as well as from rescue and recovery teams at the WTC site and at the landfill where site debris was sorted.

    It will be the largest survey by the Atlanta-based Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, which investigates the health effects of exposures to chemicals, heavy metals and substances such as asbestos.

    "We will start with a baseline interview and then re-interview people on a periodic schedule based on what their initial exposure was," said Sharon Campolucci, a nurse who is the agency's deputy director of health studies. "We anticipate this will run 10, 15, possibly even 20 years."

    The study, which will be run jointly with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, was created in July by a $ 20 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It will not begin enrolling participants until late spring; currently, questionnaires and informational materials are being designed and tested, Campolucci said.

    Participants will be interviewed by telephone about their experiences on the day of the attacks and any injuries or symptoms since then.

    Participation is limited to surviving Trade Center employees; rescue and recovery workers from the site and the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island; occupants of 35 buildings adjacent to the Trade Center; and anyone who lived, worked or was in school below Canal Street on the day of the attacks.

    "We know from other studies that the people with the highest exposures were those closest to the site," Campolucci said. "They were not only exposed to the disaster itself and the resulting dust clouds but to the fires that burned there for weeks afterward."

    Numerous health surveys, some funded by the CDC, have been launched in New York since the Trade Center attacks. They include computer models of how people behaved as they evacuated the towers, intensive studies of a persistent problem that rescue workers have dubbed "World Trade Center cough," and two air-quality studies, one by the Atlanta agency and one by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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    another related article from NY Times

    Study to Follow 200,000 Exposed to Trade Center Ash
    By KIRK JOHNSON

    ew York City and federal health officials are working out the final details of what they say would be the largest study of its kind ever undertaken

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