With President Obama's success in taking out Osama Bin Laden making the 10th Anniversary observance of the 9/11 attacks a less politically contentious one, are policymakers ignoring the long-term health consequences of the 9/11 attacks at everyone's peril?
By: Ringo Bones
Even though President Obama signed the James Zadroga Health Compensation act of 2010 - named in honor of the first responder who suddenly succumbed to the chronic health effects of the World Trade Center tower debris back in 2006 - to help those first responders, victims and cleaning crew who are suffering from chronic health problems after inhaling the toxic dust and debris when the WTC towers collapsed during the 9/11 attacks. A lot of us still wonder whether there are enough policymakers out there who are doing enough to compensate and take care of everyone affected by the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
The fallout of the WTC towers collapse are as deadly as that produced by a successfully detonated nuclear device. I mean lead from those 50,000 computer monitors, mercury from countless fluorescent light bulbs, not to mention tons of asbestos and polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs used in the construction of the World Trade Center towers back in 1971 because these two hazardous materials are yet to be banned in 1976.
It's not just first responders - the New York Fire Department and the New York Police Department personnel - that had acquired chronic health problems years after the 9/11 attacks. Cleaners, telecom engineers and contractors who spent significant amounts of time at the vicinity WTC Ground Zero area are also affected. As the WTC fallout resembles finely pulverized glass, long-term residents in the Lower Manhattan region are affected too.
Studies have shown that a little over 60,000 are already registered at risk while 18, 262 are already receiving treatment for "9/11 Syndrome". Since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, Prof. Paul Lioy had analyzed the fallout dust and found out that it consists of a mixture of supposedly now-banned hazardous substances like asbestos and polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs and unburned jet fuel residue. Osama Bin Laden may be dead but the fallout of the 9/11 attacks are still causing unnecessary suffering.