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Thread: Autopsy Links Cop's Death to WTC Contamination

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    Autopsy Links Cop's Death to WTC Contamination

    Autopsy Links Cop's Death to WTC Contamination


    Updated: 04-12-2006 01:10:58 PM


    Associated Press WorldStream
    via NewsEdge Corporation


    NEW YORK_The death of a 34-year-old police detective who developed respiratory disease after working at ground zero is "directly related" to Sept. 11, 2001, a New Jersey coroner said in the first known ruling positively linking a death to recovery work at the World Trade Center site.

    James Zadroga's family and union released his autopsy results Tuesday, saying they were proof of the first death of a city police officer related to cleanup work at ground zero after the terrorist attacks.

    "It is felt with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the cause of death in this case was directly related to the 9/11 incident," wrote Gerard Breton, a pathologist at the Ocean County (New Jersey) medical examiner's office in the Feb. 28 autopsy.

    A class action lawsuit and families of ground zero workers have alleged that more than two dozen deaths are related to exposure to trade center dust, which doctors believe contained a number of toxic chemicals including asbestos and more than 1 million tons of tower debris.

    Zadroga died on Jan. 6 of respiratory failure and had inflammation in his lung tissue due to "a history of exposure to toxic fumes and dust," Breton wrote.

    The detective spent 470 hours after the attacks sifting through the twin towers' smoldering ruins, wearing a paper mask for protection. His breathing became labored within weeks, he developed a cough and he had to use an oxygen tank to breathe. He retired on disability in November 2004.

    The coroner found material "consistent with dust" in Zadroga's lungs and damage to his liver and said his heart and spleen were enlarged.

    Zadroga's parents and 4-year-old daughter appeared at a news conference with half a dozen other detectives who said they have suffered from cancer, strokes, lung disease and other ailments because of post-Sept. 11 work at the trade center site.

    "They all knew it was detrimental to their health," said Joseph Zadroga, James Zadroga's father. "They all knew that, yet they stayed there."

    Doctors running health screening programs, including a city registry following more than 71,000 people, say it will take decades to truly assess the health effects of working at the trade center site.

    A spokesman for the registry did not immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.
    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=46&id=48709
    <<Associated Press WorldStream -- 04/12/06>>

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    Linda and Joseph Zadroga console each other at the funeral of their son, Detective James Zadroga, in January. His death was the first to be officially linked by an autopsy report to exposure to the ground zero dust,

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    Confirmed: NY Detective's Death Caused By World Trade Center Dust

    Thursday, April 13, 2006
    PERMALINK Posted 11:03 PM by Jordan

    Confirmed: NY Detective's Death Caused By World Trade Center Dust

    Regarding the death from respiratory failure of retired New York City detective James Zadroga, the medical examiner's office in Ocean County, N.J. stated the following:

    It is felt with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the cause of death in this case was directly related to the 9/11 incident.

    That statement is, in the words of the New York Times,

    the first official link made by a medical expert between the hazardous air at ground zero after the trade center collapse and the death of someone who worked in the rescue effort.

    Zadroga spent 450 hours working on recovery efforts at ground zero, filling his lungs with "fiberglass, pulverized concrete and a toxic brew of chemicals that fatally scarred his lungs, leading to his death at the age of 34." His breathing became labored within weeks, he developed a cough and he had to use an oxygen tank to breathe. He retired on disability in November 2004. (More here on Zadroga's death)

    Dr. Robin Herbert, who has screened thousands of first responders through the World Trade Center Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening Program, called Detective Zadroga's autopsy report a "sentinel event" and a warning sign.

    "It should be taken very seriously and investigated with great vigor," Dr. Herbert said.

    The dust was composed of asbestos, fiberglass, lead from 50,000 computers, and 1.2 million tons of concrete with dangerously high levels of alkalinity.

    The concrete may be causing the most damage:

    Dr. Phillip Landrigan, who has led numerous studies on exposure to World Trade dust, said the primary component in the plume was pulverized concrete. "The striking thing about concrete is that it can be very toxic when inhaled. It's alkaline, but basically it does the same thing as a very strong acid. It burns and cauterizes tissue," said Landrigan, chairman of community and preventive medicine at Mount Sinai.

    The immediate effect of inhaling the dust was a condition now known as "World Trade Center cough."

    Two other New York Fire Department Emergency Medical Technicians, Felix Hernandez and Timothy Keller, have also died of the effects of inhaling the dust, according to their families. The New York Daily News reported that 22 other men, most in their 30s and 40s, have died from Ground zero-related disease.

    And they won't be the last. The BBC estimates that at least 15,000 persons are suffering from medical problems linked to the 9/11 attacks.

    Meanwhile, the Detectives Endowment Association is calling for Zadroga's death to be reclassified as "in the line of duty," ensuring that his daughter, Tylerann, will receive full tax-free pension benefits until she turns 19, rather than a lesser "retirement" pension until she is 12. Tylerann's mother died in 2004.

    The New York Daily News calls for

    city, state and federal officials to get their acts together to address the very serious health concerns faced by Ground Zero workers.

    ***

    Finally, all levels of government must see to it that no one who responded to 9/11 - cops, firefighters, ironworkers, et al. - goes without proper medical attention for lack of insurance. Finally, the NYPD and FDNY must begin to recognize certified Ground Zero deaths as having occurred in the line of duty so that surviving family members are afforded enhanced benefits.

    In February, Dr. John Howard, Director of the federal National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), was appointed to serve as the federal government's coordinator to oversee the response to Ground Zero health impacts. A NIOSH spokesman said that the agency would study Zadroga's autopsy report.

    "We haven't seen the (autopsy) report ourselves," NIOSH spokesman Fred Blosser said. "Dr. Howard has said that he will look for and wants to read any report, documentation, information that would provide more details on the illnesses that
    are being reported by responders and also these reports of deaths among some 20 responders."

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