Two studies, editorial report on cancer risk for firefighters at World Trade Center disaster

Bottom Line: Two studies and a related editorial report on cancer risk for firefighters with the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) exposed to the wreckage of the World Trade Center during rescue and recovery work following the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Why The Research Is Interesting: The wreckage of the World Trade Center created environmental exposures to known and suspected carcinogens.


Rachel Zeig-Owens, Dr.P.H., of the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program, New York, and coauthors report on the “Estimation of Future Cancer Burden Among Rescue and Recovery Workers Exposed to the World Trade Center Disaster.” This study projected new cancer cases over 20 years among a group of 14,474 FDNY rescue and recovery workers exposed to the World Trade Center disaster site. Estimates suggest 2,960 new cases of cancer (including more prostate, thyroid and melanoma cancers) among these rescue and recovery workers between 2012-2031, which is greater than would be expected in a population that is similar demographically. Among white men in the group, 2,714 new cancers were estimated compared with 2,596 in a comparison group.

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