The Far-Reaching Health Effects of 9/11 Air Pollution

By Amos Zeeberg (Discover Web Editor) | September 10, 2007 9:20 am

First the people in the towers died. Then the rescue workers. Now first responders are succumbing to a 9/11 illness. The next victims: tens of thousands of ordinary citizens who worked and lived in Lower Manhattan—all of whom were told that the air was safe.
While the people who died in the towers and the first responders have gotten much attention from the nation and the press—witness the lead feature from 60 Minutes last night on first responders—the ordinary citizens have gone relatively unnoticed.

So Discover has released a package that focuses directly on this final group of 9/11 victims. The first part is a feature story on how the federal and city governments did not live up to their responsibility to protect the people in Lower Manhattan from air pollution. The second is an interview with Philip Landrigan, the doctor in charge of monitoring the far-reaching health effects of 9/11 on people in New York.

Discover is also creating a forum for people to talk about health problems caused by the pollution from the collapse of the Twin Towers. We invite readers to include their comments on this subject below—either about effects on their own health or their thoughts on the issue and how it’s been handled.

We will gather the information presented in this forum and pass it along to medical authorities and members of Congress to help construct a clearer picture of the scope of the problem.


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