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Thread: A Fallen Hero - Video Inside

  1. #221
    Chana3812 Guest

    .... it sure is

  2. #222
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    Jan 2005
    Court Ruling May Stop 9/11 Air Quality Lawsuits


    (CBS/AP) NEW YORK An appeals court ruling could spell trouble for New Yorkers suing the Environmental Protection Agency and its former chief for saying that sooty Lower Manhattan air was safe to breathe after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

    A three judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared this week that EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman and other agency officials can't be held constitutionally liable for making rosy declarations about air quality in the days following the World Trade Center's destruction.

    The opinion, written by the court's chief judge, Dennis Jacobs, said opening EPA workers up to lawsuits for giving out bad information during a crisis could have a catastrophic side effect.

    "Officials might default to silence in the face of the public's urgent need for information," Jacobs wrote.

    The ruling, filed Thursday, applied only to a suit brought by five government employees who did rescue and cleanup work at ground zero, but it contained language suggesting that similar legal claims could face trouble.

    It specifically mentioned a class action lawsuit brought by lower Manhattan residents who claim Whitman jeopardized their health by declaring that "the air is safe to breathe" at a time when, according to the EPA inspector general, a quarter of dust samples were recording unhealthy asbestos levels.

    Last year, U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts, refused to dismiss that case, calling Whitman's statements "conscience-shocking."

    That decision is now on appeal and has yet to be argued before the 2nd Circuit, but Jacobs indicated a reversal might be imminent, saying outright that the panel disagreed with Batts' reasoning.

    Those developments brought a blunt assessment from attorney Stephen J. Riegel, who represented the national guardsman, deputy U.S. Marshal and three city emergency medical service workers who were the subject of Thursday's ruling.

    "There is a prospect, essentially, that these people will get nothing through the court system," Riegel said.

    Some preliminary scientific studies have indicated that as many as 400,000 people were exposed to toxic ground zero dust. Hundreds and perhaps thousands of people have fallen ill, and several have died from lung ailments blamed on inhaled Trade Center ash.

    Thousands of people have sued various government entities over their exposure to the toxins.

    Riegel said his own clients, who worked without respirators as the dust still swirled because they had heard EPA statements that the air was safe, had decided not to appeal.

    More important decisions are pending: The 2nd Circuit recently announced it would hear a rare mid-case appeal of lawsuits against the City of New York, alleging it didn't do enough to protect rescue and cleanup workers from airborne dust.

    Plaintiffs trying to hold government entities accountable for their injuries have some tough legal hurdles to overcome.

    The law generally doesn't allow citizens to sue the government for mere incompetence, or failing to prevent someone from being injured; To win, plaintiffs must often prove that government employees actually created a danger themselves, through actions "so egregious, so outrageous," that they "shock the contemporary conscience."

    Jacobs said Whitman and other EPA officials fell short of violating that standard, even if they had acted with deliberate indifference.
    "A poor choice made by an executive official ... is not conscience shocking merely because for some persons it resulted in grave consequences that a correct decision could have avoided," he wrote.

    "These principles apply," he added, "notwithstanding the great service rendered by those who repaired New York, the heroism of those who entered the site when it was unstable and on fire, and the serious health consequences that are plausibly alleged in the complaint."

    An EPA spokesman did not immediately respond to a phone message Friday.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  3. #223
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    Jan 2005
    Outrage! Ruling Stings 9/11 First Responders
    Court Says Whitman Wasn't Wrong To Say Air Quality Safe

    Marcia Kramer

    (CBS) NEW YORK A major ruling could stop some ground zero workers and lower Manhattan residents suffering from 9/11-related illnesses from suing the city.

    CBS 2 has learned the reasons why.

    There was shock on Friday as city residents were stunned over a federal appeals court ruling that it was OK for the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to have reassured New Yorkers after 9/11 that the air was safe -- even if it was toxic.

    "I’m horrified, not only for the residents down there, but also for the workers who got the worst of it," one resident said. "We can't have a government that lies to us."

    Added another New Yorker: "It certainly wasn’t OK. People need to be protected."

    "That was unethical to do because it disarmed the people and had people believe they were safe from fallout," said another.

    The Second U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Manhattan saw it differently:

    "When great harm is likely to befall someone no matter what a government official does, the allocation of risk may be a burden on the conscience of the one who must make such decisions, but does not shock the contemporary conscience...”

    The court's decision to throw out a suit brought against then-EPA head Christie Whitman, infuriated lawyer David Worby, who represents thousands of first responders and construction workers who are suing the city.

    "There was 400,000 pounds of asbestos, 91,000 liters of burning jet fuels, 125,000 gallons of burning Con Ed transformer oils with PCBs in it, 500,000 units of mercury 200,000 pounds of led, among other things," Worby said. "Should she be let off the hook for saying that was safe? I don't think so."

    The decision will have varying effects. Residents who sued Whitman may not have a leg to stand on, but ground zero workers who have charged labor law violations still have a case -- at least for now.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  4. #224
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    Jan 2005


    April 22, 2007 -- Twenty-six firefighters who toiled at Ground Zero came down with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory illness that often attacks the lungs, in the five years after 9/11 - a significant increase, a new study has found.

    The study has angered the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, which complains that the NYPD has refused to acknowledge that 9/11 caused sarcoidosis in cops.

    Half the firefighter cases were diagnosed in the first year after 9/11 - a rate six times higher than the average for the Bravest in the 15 years before 9/11, according to a paper to be published in CHEST, a medical journal.

    The results "strongly argue for improved respiratory protection" at future fires, disasters and toxic sites, says the report, whose authors include FDNY top doctors David Prezant and Kerry Kelly.

    The PBA, which has its own registry of ailing WTC responders, counts 19 cops with sarcoidosis.

    Unlike the FDNY, the NYPD has been reluctant to link the disease to 9/11.

    The NYPD has also rejected some cops' medical bills for sarcoidosis.

    "First they denied any connection between the WTC and sarcoidosis. Now that there's scientific evidence, they refuse to accept it," PBA president Patrick Lynch told The Post.

    NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Commissioner Ray Kelly welcomed line-of-duty death benefits recently given the daughter of detective James Zadroga, 34, a 9/11 responder who died of respiratory illness.

    "The department hasn't refused to acknowledge a link. The medical division is reviewing the cases," Browne said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  5. #225
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    Jan 2005


    May 8, 2007 -- A detective on Mayor Bloomberg's security detail died yesterday of cancer - an illness his family and union officials believe can be traced to his work in the toxic debris at Ground Zero after 9/11.

    Detective Kevin Hawkins, 42, died at 2 a.m. at the hospice unit of Calvary Hospital in The Bronx, said Vic Cipulla, vice president of the Detectives Endowment Association.

    He'd been diagnosed with kidney cancer in September.

    Cipulla said Hawkins and his family had filed a claim that would seek verification that his illness was in the line of duty, making him eligible for a disability pension.

    "Members have come down with various forms of cancer and there are many still to come," he said.

    The claim was prompted by a law - passed in 2005 and named after Detective James Zadroga, who died of lung disease after his work at Ground Zero - that ensures public workers can get a disability pension if their illness is traced to the recovery effort.

    Hawkins worked at Ground Zero for two months.

    "Kevin brought a quiet reserve and a sense of duty to everything he did," a statement from Bloomberg said. "He fought this disease with the same integrity and strength that he displayed serving our country and our city."

    Hawkins, who joined the department in 1987, also served two tours of duty in the Gulf War in 1990.

    "He was a member of the United States Marine Corps who served his nation in war, as he did the Police Department, with pride and dedication," Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

    Hawkins is survived by his wife Marie, and three children.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  6. #226
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    Jan 2005
    Study Links Lung Scarring Disease To Post 9/11 WTC Work

    POSTED: 5:55 pm EDT May 8, 2007

    NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Rescue workers and firefighters contracted a serious lung-scarring disease called sarcoidosis at a much higher rate after the Sept. 11 attacks than before, said a study that is the first to link the disease to exposure to toxic dust at ground zero.

    The study, published by nine doctors including the medical officer monitoring city firefighters, Dr. David Prezant, found that firefighters and rescue workers contracted sarcoidosis in the year after Sept. 11, 2001, at a rate five times higher than the years before the attacks.

    Sarcoidosis, which can be life-threatening, causes an inflammation in the lungs that deposits tiny cells in the organs, leaving scar tissues that damage them. Some rescue workers and others who were exposed to the dust cloud that enveloped lower Manhattan after the World Trade Center collapsed say they contracted the disease from their work at ground zero.

    The study compared the rates of contracting sarcoidosis among fire department employees for 15 years before Sept. 11 and for five years after it. It said firefighters who showed symptoms of the disease on chest X-rays underwent more intensive exams.

    After the trade center attack, 26 firefighters were diagnosed with sarcoidosis, the study found. Thirteen were diagnosed in the first year after the attacks, which represents a rate of 86 per 100,000. In the 15 years before the attack, the rate of sarcoidosis was 15 per 100,0000, the study found.

    None of the 26 rescue workers, who are in their 30s and 40s, has died of the disease, and about 10 have improved or recovered since their diagnoses, the study found. Two of the firefighters were former smokers, the study found.

    Dr. Jacqueline Moline, who directs the largest monitoring program for ground zero workers, which has screened more than 20,000 people at Mount Sinai Medical Center, said several patients in her program have been diagnosed with sarcoidosis.

    Mount Sinai plans to publish its own research in the next few months on the rate associated with ground zero work. Last fall, it published a study concluding that 70 percent of ground zero workers suffered from different respiratory illnesses after the attacks.

    "We're all looking to see various diseases that might develop as a result of 9/11 exposure," Moline said. "We have to be vigilant."

    The study was published this week in the May issue of CHEST Physician, a journal published by the American College of Chest Physicians.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  7. #227
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    Jan 2005
    9/11 Rescuers At Risk for Sarcoidosis

    By Neil Osterweil, Senior Associate Editor, MedPage Today
    Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
    May 09, 2007

    NEW YORK, May 9 -- World Trade Center rescue workers exposed to airborne debris in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks are at an increased risk for pulmonary sarcoidosis or a related disorder, investigators here have found.
    Action Points

    * Explain to patients who ask that the etiology of sarcoidosis, a multisystem noncaseating granulomatous disease, is not understood but it is thought that multiple environmental/occupational sources of exposure may interact with genetic factors to initiate the granulomatous response.

    * Point out that this study demonstrates an increased incidence of "sarcoid-like" granulomatous pulmonary disease in New York firefighters and rescue workers exposed to airborne debris.

    Twenty-six New York City firefighters and emergency medical service workers who were at ground zero have since developed evidence of a sarcoid-like granulomatous pulmonary disease, reported David J. Prezant, M.D., of the Fire Department of New York, and colleagues, in the May issue of Chest.

    The condition, which the investigators call World Trade Center sarcoid-like granulomatous pulmonary disease, consists of abnormalities in the pulmonary parenchyma, hilar and/or mediastinal adenopathies, clinical features resembling asthma, and, in some cases, involvement of extrathoracic sites, such as the bones, joints, skin, or spleen.

    The investigators had previously shown that even before 9/11, New York City firefighters and rescue personnel had an elevated incidence of sarcoidosis or sarcoid-like granulomatous disease. The conditions are linked to occupational or environmental exposures to organic dusts, metals, chemical dust, silica, and wood dust or smoke.

    "We report here that the incidence of sarcoidosis or sarcoid-like granulomatous pulmonary disease among Fire Department of New York World Trade Center rescue workers (firefighters and EMS workers) was significantly increased when compared to the years before World Trade Center dust exposure," the investigators wrote. "This was especially true during the first 12 months after World Trade Center dust exposure."

    To determine whether prolonged, repeated exposure to airborne particulates might increase the risk of sarcoidosis or sarcoid-like granulomatous pulmonary disease in a population already at risk, the investigators followed fire department employees who were enrolled in a monitoring program.

    Those who had chest radiograph findings suggestive of sarcoidosis underwent additional evaluation, including chest CT imaging, pulmonary function tests, airway challenge tests, and biopsies.

    The investigators calculated an annual incidence rate of sarcoidosis or the sarcoid-like condition and compared it with the 15 years before the World Trade Center attacks.

    They found that 26 patients, all at the World Trade Center site within 72 hours of the collapse of the towers, when particulate levels were highest, had pathologic evidence consistent with new-onset sarcoidosis. All patients had intrathoracic adenopathy, and six (23%) had extrathoracic disease, involving the spleen, abdominal and pelvic lymph nodes, bones, joints, skin, and, in one case, hematuria.

    Half the patients were identified within a year of their first exposure to the site debris, translating into an annual incidence rate of 86 per 100,000. The remaining 13 patients were identified with sarcoidosis or the sarcoid-like granulomatosis in the second through fifth years following the disaster, an annual incidence rate of 22 per 100,000.

    In contrast, the average annual incidence rate of sarcoidosis among firefighters during the 15 years before the World Trade Center attacks was 15/100,000, and among controls (rescue personnel without exposure to fire conditions) the rate was 12.9/100,000.

    Eighteen of the 26 patients (69%) had findings that were consistent with asthma, and fifteen of these patients had clinical symptoms: cough, dyspnea, and/or wheeze exacerbated by exercise and/or irritant exposure, or improved by the use of bronchodilators.

    Of the 21 patients who agreed to undergo a provocative airway challenge with methacholine or cold-air exercise, eight had evidence of airway hyperreactivity, which had not been seen among fire department personnel with sarcoidosis before 2001.

    "This new information about the early onset of World Trade Center sarcoid-like granulomatous pulmonary disease and its association with asthma/airway hyperreactivity has important public health consequences for disease prevention, early detection, and treatment following environmental -occupational exposures," the authors wrote.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  8. #228
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    Jan 2005
    CANCER KILLS 9/11 COP, 46


    May 14, 2007 -- A retired NYPD detective who worked for the elite Emergency Service Unit died early yesterday of pancreatic and lung cancer believed to be related to his work at Ground Zero.

    Retired Detective Robert Williamson, 45, died at his Orange County home with family around him, said Detectives Endowment Association head Michael Palladino.

    "Unfortunately, I knew this day was going to come for a long time," Palladino said. "We are just now starting to see the long-term health affects of 9/11 on first responders."

    Williamson was the third NYPD cop to succumb to cancers believed related to their post-9/11 service.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  9. #229
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    Jan 2005
    Clinton, Nadler to investigate post-9/11 environmental cleanup

    Nick Juliano
    Published: Tuesday May 15, 2007

    Sen. Hillary Clinton announced today that, along with a New York Congressman, she will chair a probe looking into the federal government's response and environmental clean-up efforts in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    "We need to examine what went wrong and assess whether the federal government is better prepared to respond to environmental hazards in future disasters," Clinton said in a news release. "I also remain concerned about potential indoor contamination resulting from the collapse of the World Trade Center and want to take a close look at the EPA's inadequate program to test and clean residential areas in Manhattan."

    Leading the investigation in the House will be Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY, who chairs House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Clinton and Nadler have criticized the government's failure to properly test and clean buildings contaminated by toxins released from the crumbling World Trade Center.

    "Finally, we have an opportunity to hear, on the record and first hand, who in the federal government was really responsible for key decisions about the handling of post-9/11 air quality," Nadler said in the release. "And from there we can finally learn why those decisions were made -- decisions that are still having an impact on 9/11 victims today."

    Nadler will convene the first hearing on the post-9/11 cleanup next Tuesday. Among the witnesses he invited is former Environmental Protection Agency head Christine Todd Whitman. Clinton has Senate hearings tentatively scheduled for the end of next month.

    Full transcript of press release follows:


    Washington, DC - Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY), Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health, and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-08), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, announced today that they will conduct companion hearings into the failures of the Federal government in responding to the environmental crisis that resulted from the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks. For over five years, Clinton and Nadler have staunchly criticized the Administration's misleading public statements about post-9/11 air quality, as well as its continued failure to provide a proper testing and cleaning of indoor spaces contaminated by WTC toxins and its lack of provision of health care for the thousands of people who are ill as a result of exposure to the pollutants.

    These hearings represent the first comprehensive Congressional oversight investigations into these environmental matters since the immediate aftermath of the attacks. While in the Majority, Republican House leadership steadfastly refused to hold a single hearing on this matter, or even respond to a written request made in September 2003 by Nadler, then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and then-Ranking Members John Conyers, John Dingell, George Miller, and Henry Waxman. (See ).

    "We need to examine what went wrong and assess whether the federal government is better prepared to respond to environmental hazards in future disasters," said Senator Clinton. "I also remain concerned about potential indoor contamination resulting from the collapse of the World Trade Center and want to take a close look at the EPA's inadequate program to test and clean residential areas in Manhattan."

    "Finally, we have an opportunity to hear, on the record and first hand, who in the federal government was really responsible for key decisions about the handling of post-9/11 air quality. And from there we can finally learn why those decisions were made -- decisions that are still having an impact on 9/11 victims today," said Nadler. "The lack of thorough Congressional oversight thus far has allowed for years finger-pointing and evading of responsibility on the part of the Federal government, but now is time for the truth. We must, at long last, get to the bottom of these matters, so we can do what is right for the heroes of 9/11, and ensure that we prevent anything like this from ever happening again." he added.

    The House hearing is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, May 22, 2007, at 10:00 A.M, in Room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office Building, and will examine the federal post-9/11 environmental response and related possible violations of the "substantive due process rights" of individuals living and working in the vicinity of the World Trade Center on, or after, September 11, 2001. In a recent decision, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York found that former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman's falsely reassuring and misleading statements of safety after the September 11, 2001 attacks were "without question conscience-shocking." The court also found the facts "support an allegation of a violation of the substantive due process right to be free from official government policies that increase the risk of bodily harm" by Whitman's misstatements regarding the air quality of the affected area. An EPA Inspector General review reached similar conclusions. Invited to testify are:

    Christine Todd Whitman, Former Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [invited];

    John Henshaw, Former Administrator, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) [invited];

    Samuel Thernstrum, Former Member, White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) [confirmed];

    Tina Kreisher, Former Associate Administrator for Communications, Education and Media Relations, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [invited];

    Suzanne Mattei, Former New York City Executive of the Sierra Club and Author of Pollution and Deception at Ground Zero [confirmed];

    David Newman, New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health and Former Member, World Trade Center Technical Review Panel [confirmed];

    Paul Harris, Shook, Hardy & Bacon [confirmed] (minority witness);

    Other minority witness to be determined

    The Senate hearing is tentatively scheduled for June 20th, 2007 and will examine the federal response to 9-11, including risk communication and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency programs to test and clean indoor spaces in lower Manhattan. The hearing will also examine lessons learned from 9-11 and federal readiness to respond to releases of hazardous substances in future emergencies. The hearing is expected to include testimony from EPA and CEQ officials, as well as affected New Yorkers and scientific experts.

    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  10. #230
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    Jan 2005
    Former EPA Chief Refuses To Testify At 9/11 Hearing

    Staff Reporter of the Sun
    May 16, 2007

    WASHINGTON — The former head of the Environmental Protection Agency is balking at a request by Rep. Jerrold Nadler that she testify before a congressional hearing on the federal response to the attacks of September 11, 2001.

    Christine Todd Whitman, the EPA administrator at the time, has declined an invitation to appear before a House subcommittee that Mr. Nadler chairs, an aide to the congressman said yesterday. Mr. Nadler, whose district includes ground zero, is expected to ask Ms. Whitman again before considering whether to seek to compel her testimony with a subpoena, the aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

    Mr. Nadler and Senator Clinton yesterday announced companion hearings to investigate what they say was the government's failure to respond adequately to the environmental crisis in Lower Manhattan that resulted from the attack on the World Trade Center. Mr. Nadler's hearing is scheduled for May 22; Mrs. Clinton's is set for June 20.

    Ms. Whitman has come under fire from lawmakers over the years for saying the air near ground zero was safe to breathe in the weeks following September 11. Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Nadler have also faulted the EPA for insufficiently testing and cleaning buildings near ground zero after the attack.

    A federal appellate court last month threw out a lawsuit against Ms. Whitman, ruling that her statements about the air quality in New York were not "conscience-shocking." Ms. Whitman has repeatedly denied misleading the public about the air quality; attempts to reach her late yesterday were unsuccessful.

    One person who will not be asked to testify in Congress is Mayor Giuliani, who has drawn criticism in some quarters for not insisting more forcefully that workers at ground zero wear facemasks at the site. Many workers have since come down with respiratory illnesses, which studies indicate may be linked to the toxic dust at ground zero. An aide to Mrs. Clinton said yesterday that she was focusing on the federal response.

    Mrs. Clinton may be leery of a congressional showdown with Mr. Giuliani, as it would likely be viewed through a political lens now that both are running for president.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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