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Thread: A Fallen Hero - Video Inside

  1. #391
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    Set fair standards for judging WTC deaths

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/...c_death-2.html

    Monday, November 26th 2007, 4:00 AM

    Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Charles Hirsch sparked an uproar when he ruled on Detective James Zadroga's cause of death. Although Zadroga had spent hundreds of hours working 9/11 rescue and recovery, although Zadroga had been grievously sickened by inhaling the Ground Zero dust, Hirsch found another reason for the fatality.

    Shocking the cop's family and contradicting findings of other pathologists, Hirsch concluded Zadroga had mortally hurt his lungs by injecting ground-up prescription pills. His family says nothing of the sort occurred.

    In the ensuing furor, the Daily News and several elected officials called on Mayor Bloomberg to create an expert panel to set scientific and legal standards for reviewing deaths of 9/11 workers. The mayor spurned the idea, asserting such a panel would inject politics into science. But he also said he'd look for a means to memorialize men and women who were sickened by their service and died as a result.

    One wonders how, as Hirsch seems to have adopted a policy that would make it all but impossible for Bloomberg to accomplish his goal. Without public comment, Hirsch appears to have decided the ME will perform scientific reviews only of deaths of people who were at Ground Zero on 9/11. Not of those who arrived thereafter.

    That is the clear import of a letter Hirsch sent to the family of Officer James Godbee, who his lawyer and police duty rosters say worked on or near the Trade Center site between Sept. 13, 2001, and June 2002. Two years later, Godbee was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, a lung-scarring disease. He died in December 2004 at age 44, with the autopsy, done by Hirsch's office, naming sarcoidosis as the cause of death. Widow Michelle Haskett-Godbee was granted a line-of-duty death benefit.

    Her attorney asked Hirsch to rule Godbee's death an accident or homicide due to 9/11 and to add his name to the official roster. This would require Hirsch to find that breathing Ground Zero dust caused the cop's illness.

    Hirsch refused to consider the issue. He wrote: "All persons killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and others who died later from complications of injuries or exposure directly caused by the collapse of the Twin Towers on that day are homicide victims. However, P.O. Godbee first arrived at the World Trade Center site on September 13, 2001."

    While expressing sympathy, Hirsch also stated that "fatalities caused by work-related inhalation of dust ... are classified as natural deaths." He concluded, "we decline to express an opinion about the cause and effect relationship between P.O. Godbee's work at the site of the World Trade Center and his subsequent development of sarcoidosis."

    Hirsch didn't respond to written questions asking him to elaborate on standards he has adopted for judging 9/11-related deaths. Which is unfortunate, because the Godbee letter extends a record of confusing positions by the medical examiner.

    He added to the roster of victims the name of Felicia Dunn-Jones, a lawyer who was caught in the 9/11 dust cloud and died five months later of sarcoidosis - but not until her family's attorney broached a lawsuit. Then he ruled that Zadroga's debilitating lung illnesses, which started within weeks of 9/11, were not relevant to his death.

    Godbee's case raises new questions: Will Hirsch accept as a victim of the terror attack a firefighter who arrived on 9/11 after the towers fell and later fell sick with an illness that proved fatal? If so, why would he not accept a firefighter who arrived a day or two later? Or has he determined that none of the Forgotten Victims of 9/11 are worthy of the memorial list?

    These are not issues of science. These are legal and policy matters with profound social implications that should not be one person's to address. That's why we still believe Bloomberg would be wise to seek the counsel of a blue-ribbon panel as he devises a way to memorialize the sacrifices of Zadroga, Godbee and others still to come.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #392
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    Medical Examiner Poked, Prodded After Autopsy Verdict

    http://gothamist.com/2007/10/19/mes_office_says.php

    11/26/2007

    Dr. Charles S. Hirsch is the chief medical examiner of New York City and has overseen the autopsies on more than 100,000 people. He would probably remain a mystery to most New Yorkers, if it weren't for his ruling on the death of Det. James Zadroga, who worked clean-up at Ground Zero after September 11, 2001.

    Hirsch said that Zadroga's death wasn't related to Ground Zero dust, but ground-up pills the detective was allegedly injecting. Two other pathologists - including Dr. Michael Baden, probably best known for his HBO autopsy-mystery series - had ruled that Zadroga's death was due to exposure to the harmful dust emanating from Ground Zero. The detective was awarded a disability pension and the September 11 Compensation Fund gave his family a substantial award upon his death.

    Zadroga's father went to the the NYC's ME with his son's medical records, in an attempt to have his son counted on the city's list of 9/11 victims. But Hirsch recently determined that was not the case, and said "with certainty beyond doubt" that Ground Zero dust was not the cause of Zadroga's death, leading Mayor Bloomberg to say Zadroga was not a hero and then take it back and apologize to his family.

    The Times spoke to other pathologists who all respect Hirsch but would hesitate to use such unequivocal language in their rulings. And the Times article included a small aside: "Detective Zadroga was at ground zero in the weeks immediately after 9/11, though it is not clear exactly where he worked or how many hours he remained on the site." Another police officer, Ceasar Borja, was previously heralded as a fatal victim of toxic Ground Zero, but it was eventually revealed that he spent virtually little time near Ground Zero.

    Today, the Daily News reported Dr. Hirsch wouldn't even review the case of Officer James Godbee, who died from a heart attack in 2004. (The city says that anyone who died in the 9/11 attacks or from effects directly experienced on that day should be considered a homicide victim.) Officer Godbee arrived on the scene at 9/13/01, and died from a heart attack determined to be brought on by sarcoidosis, a disease that inflames the lungs and other organs. Earlier this year, the ME's office did declare that a Staten Island woman, who was at the World Trade Center on September 11 and later died of sarcoidosis, was a victim of the attacks.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #393
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    Death Ruled Not Homicide for Officer at Ground Zero

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/27/ny...l?ref=nyregion

    By ANTHONY DePALMA
    Published: November 27, 2007

    New York City’s chief medical examiner has decided not to reclassify the death of a police officer who worked at ground zero as a homicide linked to the attack on the twin towers because the officer did not arrive at the site until Sept. 13, 2001.

    The latest news and reader discussions from around the five boroughs and the region.

    Go to City Room » The examiner’s decision appears to cast doubt on the future of thousands of cases involving sickened rescue and recovery workers whose relatives may in the future seek to have them included on the 9/11 victims’ list.

    When the officer, James J. Godbee Jr., died in December 2004 at age 44, the medical examiner’s office listed the cause of death as sarcoidosis, a disease that scars the lungs and other organs. Although the death certificate did not link Officer Godbee’s disease to the days he spent at ground zero, the police pension fund did make that link later, granting the officer’s widow a line-of-duty pension.

    Earlier this year, the officer’s widow, Michelle Haskett-Godbee, formally requested that the medical examiner review the case. She hoped that if her husband’s death was formally linked to the trade center attack, his name would be added to the official list of 9/11 victims.

    But the medical examiner, Dr. Charles S. Hirsch, turned down Mrs. Haskett-Godbee’s request in a letter dated June 13, which was reported Monday in The Daily News.

    “All persons killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and others who died later from complications of injuries or exposure directly caused by the collapse of the twin towers on that day are homicide victims,” Dr. Hirsch wrote. “However, P.O. Godbee first arrived at the World Trade Center site on September 13, 2001.”

    Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner, said Dr. Hirsch drew a distinction between the manner of death, which she defined as the circumstances leading up to a fatality, and the cause of death, which she said is the underlying reason a person died.

    “If you were there when the towers came down and were enveloped in the dust cloud, that was a direct result of what was happening at the time the attack was under way,” Ms. Borakove said. “On other hand, if you were there later on and you were doing work, you may be in a position where you were exposed to the same dust, but since you were not exposed during the time of attack, then that becomes work-related.”

    New York City death certificates list the immediate cause of death separately from the manner of death.

    Homicide is given as the manner of death for the 2,750 names on the official victims’ list. In the letter about Officer Godbee, Dr. Hirsch stated that deaths linked to inhalation of dust while performing work are classified as “natural deaths,” not homicide.

    In May, Dr. Hirsch reclassified the death of Felicia Dunn-Jones, a lawyer who was engulfed in the dust plume on the morning of Sept. 11 as she ran from her office in Lower Manhattan, as homicide. In that case, he focused special attention on the fact that Mrs. Dunn-Jones, 42, had inhaled trade center dust on the day of the attack.

    That reversal opened the way for other cases to be reviewed. According to Ms. Borakove, Dr. Hirsch has declined to reclassify three or four other cases, including those of Officer Godbee and Detective James Zadroga, whose death in early 2006 had been linked to trade center dust by a New Jersey medical examiner.

    Dr. Hirsch’s decision to disallow those who arrived at ground zero after Sept. 11 from being considered possible homicide victims confused some legal experts. Stephen M. Gillers, a law professor at New York University, said that a fatality that is a “foreseeable consequence” of a particular crime is usually considered to have been caused by that crime.

    “Because Godbee arrived only two days later, you could make a pretty strong case that it was 9/11 exposure,” Professor Gillers said in a telephone interview. “The medical examiner may just be saying, ‘If I allow Sept. 12 or 13, I may be nickel-and-dimed to Sept. 15 and beyond.’ At some point, you just need to get on with things.”

    Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, who, with other members of New York’s Congressional delegation, has sponsored a bill providing compensation for ill ground zero workers, called Dr. Hirsch’s decision on Officer Godbee “absolutely arbitrary” and sure to increase the anger and frustration of many New Yorkers.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #394
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    Hero cop who died after WTC work denied memorial honor roll place

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2007...denied_-1.html

    BY KIRSTEN DANIS and CORKY SIEMASZKO
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
    Tuesday, November 27th 2007, 4:00 AM

    Mayor Bloomberg Monday turned his back on a hero cop who died after working at Ground Zero but was denied a place on the memorial honor roll because he didn't arrive at The Pile until two days after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Bloomberg also flatly rejected a renewed call for a special panel to set scientific and legal standards for reviewing the deaths of 9/11 workers like Officer James Godbee.

    "Having a blue-ribbon commission just says, 'Let's decide based on political reasons, some of these things,'" the mayor said.

    Bloomberg was peppered with questions a day after the Daily News revealed the city's medical examiner, Dr. Charles Hirsch, told Godbee's widow her husband's death would remain classified as from "natural" causes because he was not at the site on the day of the terror attacks.

    The former Marine got to Ground Zero two days later and spent hundreds of hours working in the toxic stew. A physical fitness buff, Godbee was felled by a heart attack in December 2004. He was 44 years old.

    Bloomberg praised Godbee as "the kind of police officer you want in this city" but also called Hirsch "scrupulously honest."

    "The medical examiner was asked to rule on whether or not the legal definition of death is homicide," he said. "This is strictly the legal definition based on what the law is, and the medical examiner made a finding. They did not look at what the actual cause of death was."

    That legalistic approach dismayed Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, both Manhattan Democrats, and Vito Fossella, a Republican from Staten Island.

    "It seems clear that an otherwise healthy man who worked for countless hours on The Pile at Ground Zero and who later developed sarcoidosis and died should have his case heard by the city's medical examiner," they wrote.

    "At the very least, there should not be an arbitrary 'cutoff' for who can be considered a victim of 9/11. Many who are sick now were not at Ground Zero the moment the towers collapsed - but their suffering and medical conditions are real."

    Hirsch did not return a call seeking comment about the Godbee ruling, which infuriated the officer's family and cast doubt on whether other Ground Zero workers could be added to the official list of 9/11 victims.

    It also raised more questions about the competency of Hirsch, who sparked an uproar last month when he denied NYPD Detective James Zadroga a spot on the official victims' list.

    Hirsch, 70, ruled Zadroga injured his lungs by injecting groundup prescription pills - a finding that Zadroga's parents and two other pathologists dispute.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  5. #395
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    Give us clarity, Mike

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/...rity_mike.html

    Tuesday, November 27th 2007, 4:00 AM

    One thing was clear from Mayor Bloomberg yesterday regarding how, in his words, he will find "ways to pay tribute and to memorialize those whose lives were lost because of the work that they did down at Ground Zero after the terrible tragedy of 9/11": The mayor is not interested in the least in seeking the guidance of experts.

    All else was logic-defying confusion.

    His pronouncements on the case of Officer James Godbee, who was killed by a lung-scarring disease after laboring at the Trade Center site, served mainly to cloud a situation that cries out for clarity - and a little mayoral common sense.

    As revealed in yesterday's Daily News, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Charles Hirsch refused even to review Godbee's cause of death on the ground that Godbee did not arrive at The Pile until two days after 9/11. Since he was not there the very day of the terror attack, he cannot be classified as the victim of either a homicide or an accident, Hirsch concluded.

    In the medical examiner's judgment, as a matter of established legalities, Godbee died of natural causes.

    The concept of "natural causes" brought on by the worst mass murder inflicted on the U.S. is preposterous - even if you can divine it from a medical examiner's legal handbook.

    And the idea is also arbitrary and unworkable. By seeming to agree that Hirsch was correct in declining to state a scientific opinion about what killed Godbee, the mayor appears to have endorsed a policy that the medical examiner will review only the deaths of those who were at Ground Zero on 9/11, despite the fact that the fires burned until December.

    Who, then, will make the call as to those who responded on later days? Who will certify that, for serving, they paid with their lives? If not the medical examiner, who, Mr. Mayor?
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  6. #396
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    City: Officer's death was not related to 9/11

    http://www.newsday.com/news/local/ne...,3421745.story

    BY ANDREW STRICKLER | andrew.strickler@newsday.com
    8:39 PM EST, November 27, 2007

    Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Fark Google Newsvine Reddit Yahoo Print Single page view Reprints Post Comment Text size: It was the desire for recognition of James Godbee Jr.'s nearly two decades in NYPD blue, and the memory his children will carry of their father, that compelled his widow to try to have his name added to the registry of 911 victims, her attorney said Tuesday.

    "Emotionally, for her and the children, she wanted to see him recognized," said attorney John Rudden regarding Michelle Haskett-Godbee, whose husband died in 2004. "It was not a dollar-and-cents thing."

    But that effort was thwarted after city Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch, who reviewed Godbee's medical records at his family's request, concluded in June that his death was not a direct result of the World Trade Center attacks because he arrived at the site two days later.

    Officer Godbee, who was 44 when he died, initially worked in Manhattan housing projects as a New York City Housing Authority police officer. After the NYPD absorbed that department in 1995, he joined the 18th Precinct in midtown and continued to work as a housing patrolman, according to the attorney.

    On Sept. 13, 2001, Godbee was assigned to help direct traffic and work security on the WTC site perimeter in lower Manhattan, where he remained for hundreds of hours.

    Almost immediately, Rudden said, Godbee began coughing and showing other signs of pulmonary illness. He was hospitalized with a collapsed lung in March 2004 and died later that year. His autopsy attributed his death to scarring of the lungs.

    Although Godbee's family will not fight the medical examiner's decision, Rudden said, they remain convinced his name should appear with 2,750 others who lost their lives in the attack. "He worked there, he did his service and he died as a result of it," Rudden said. "There is no question about it."

    Rudden said Michelle Haskett-Godbee got some comfort in the NYPD's recognition of her husband's service, and she began receiving his pension benefits earlier this year after an initial denial of line-of-duty benefits was reversed.

    The money has helped Haskett-Godbee buy a home in Teaneck, N.J., where she now lives with her daughter Imani, 9, and son, Kai. "Financially, they are taken care of, but these two children have no father," Rudden said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  7. #397
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    HANG TOUGH, MIKE

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/11282007...ike_436459.htm

    (Gold9472: Disgusting. Susan Edelman is the only thing that makes the NYPost worth anything.)

    November 28, 2007 -- New Yorkers owe a debt to 9/11 re sponders sickened by their service at Ground Zero, but let's be clear: Emotion can't be allowed to trump science in determining liability in this matter.

    And to say that politics should be excluded from the process is to understate the case.

    Fortunately, Mayor Bloomberg and Chief Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch this week showed they understand this.

    Hirsch refused to reclassify the death of Police Officer James Godbee, who worked at Ground Zero, as a homicide - because, Hirsch said, the officer wasn't on-site until two days after 9/11.

    The ME applied a strict interpretation of the definition of homicide: an act by one or more people that results in someone else's death. He's arguing, in effect, that if someone showed up days later, as Godbee did, then his death can't be classified as having been caused directly by the World Trade Center attack.

    Now, you can argue with that standard.

    But at least it's a standard.

    The strike on the Twin Towers and their subsequent collapse constituted "a discrete, unique event," explains Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for Hirsch.

    Deaths linked to someone's presence at the time of the terrorist strike or during the buildings' collapse thus could be considered homicides. But "anything else," she said, "would be arbitrary."

    Which is exactly what some demagogic politicians, their fellow travelers - and even some well-intended, but emotion-driven, New Yorkers - want.

    The more arbitrary the standard, the easier it will be to rule any death a 9/11 homicide.

    That may qualify some workers - or even passersby - for unwarranted compensation.

    And that way lies fiscal chaos.

    Moreover, it would be historically misleading (and morally wrong) to overstate the number of true 9/11 victims, even if it makes the public feel good about doing something "nice" for recovery workers.

    It matters whether these folks were injured on 9/11, got sick later or suffered from unrelated maladies.

    Alas, some folks don't seem to care whether a person's illness is truly linked to the attack. Anyone who was anywhere near New York in '01 or thereafter, they seem to suggest, should get victim status - and perhaps extra cash.

    Not Mayor Mike, to his credit. He not only backed Hirsch, he has also firmly resisted calls to let a politically created new panel set the rules.

    "Having a blue-ribbon commission just says, 'Let's decide based on political reasons,' " Mayor Mike said. Right on.

    Likewise, Manhattan federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein refused to skip steps for three sickened rescue workers in the lawsuit against the city and Ground Zero contractors, even though their lawyer said they were "on death's door."

    These (and other) workers certainly merit New York's sympathy and gratitude. But it would be unfair - to both sides - to skip key legal steps in a lawsuit and rush to judgment.

    Hellerstein, Bloomberg and Hirsch, no doubt, were all under great pressure. But they did the right thing. New Yorkers should be grateful for that, too.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  8. #398
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    Children Exposed to 9/11 Air More Likely to Develop Asthma

    http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runnin...as_bad_eno.php



    posted: 2:25 PM, November 28, 2007 by Michael Clancy

    It was bad enough when the only known casualties of the EPA's lies about the safety of the air downtown after 9/11 were first responders, now add children to that list.

    Children who breathed the air downtown after 9/11 have increased instances of asthma as compared to other youngsters in the Northeast region, according to a new World Trade Center Health Registry report to be presented this evening by the city Department of Health. What's worse is that children exposed to the Twin Tower's toxic dust cloud were twice as likely as those just living downtown to develop asthma, the survey found.

    The DOH said in a release:
    According to the survey, half of the 3,100 children enrolled in the registry developed at least one new or worsened respiratory symptom, such as a cough, between 9/11 and the time of the interview....Prior to 9/11, asthma rates among child enrollees were on par with national and regional rates, but at the time of the interview, about 6% of enrolled children had received a new asthma diagnosis. Children exposed to the dust cloud following the collapse of the towers were twice as likely to be diagnosed with asthma as those not caught in the dust cloud, the survey found.
    According to the DOH, "This survey included children under 18 years of age on 9/11/01, who lived or went to school south of Canal Street (preschool and K-12) or were south of Chambers Street on 9/11. The findings will be presented at the Second Annual Meeting of WTC Health Registry at Pace University this evening, but the DOH provided some further data.


    Chart courtesy NYC DOH.

    The rate of asthma prevalence among children age 2 to 4 in the Northeast is 7 percent, according to the DOH. The rate of asthma prevalence among children the same age exposed to the WTC disaster is 12.3 percent, according to the DOH. The asthma rate among children age 2 to 4 who were directly exposed to the dust cloud soars to 20.9 percent, the DOH survey found.

    In the 5 to 11 age group, the Northeast asthma rate is 16.8 percent. The survey found a slightly lower rate, 15.7 percent, among those children in the same age group exposed to the air downtown. But for those caught directly in the dust cloud, the asthma rate climbs to 24 percent, according to the survey.

    For more information about the survey and the city's World Trade Center Health Registry go to www.nyc.gov/9-11health
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  9. #399
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    Kids near towers on 9/11 more likely to get asthma

    http://www.newsday.com/news/local/ne...,1919001.story

    BY JOHN VALENTI | john.valenti@newsday.com
    1:34 PM EST, November 28, 2007

    Children under age five when exposed to the fallout of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center had an increased likelihood of being diagnosed with asthma within three years of the disaster, according to officials at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

    The findings were released Wednesday in conjunction with the second Annual meeting and Resource Fair at Pace University, where health department researchers are to meet with WTC Health Registry members and others to discuss the the registry's initial survey, conducted between 2003 and 2004.

    Half of the 3,100 children enrolled in the registry "developed at least one new or worsened respiratory symptom, such as a cough," between the attacks and the time they were interviewed, researchers found. Those children developed asthma at twice the regional rate for the same age group -- though at a lower rate than adult rescue workers.

    The survey did not find evidence of elevated levels of post-traumatic stress in children.

    The survey included children under 18 years of age on Sept. 11, 2001, who lived or went to school south of Canal Street or who were south of Chambers Street at the time the Twin Towers fell.

    The health department is now working of its second survey, which includes more than 70,000 enrollees, officials said.

    "We know that some children, too, were affected by exposure to the dust cloud," Health Department Deputy Commissioner Lorna Thorpe said in a prepared statement. "The registry is helping us learn more about the health effects of 9/11 and share these findings with the public."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  10. #400
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    Study finds increased asthma rates among 9/11 kids

    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5...AeHSkJMHVgiP0Q

    3 hours ago

    NEW YORK (AFP) — Children exposed to the dust of the collapsed World Trade Center after the September 11 attacks on New York in 2001 are twice as likely to have asthma as other children, health officials said Wednesday.

    The findings by the New York City health department reflect similar studies on asthma in adults caught up in the tragedy.

    According to the survey, half of 3,100 children enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Registry had developed at least one new or worsened respiratory symptom between the attacks and their interviews in 2003 and 2004.

    The registry was set up in 2003 to track the health of rescue workers, New York residents and office workers affected by the attacks.

    "Children exposed to the dust cloud following the collapse of the towers were twice as likely to be diagnosed with asthma as those not caught in the dust cloud," the health department said in a statement.

    "The survey found that children under five had an increased likelihood of being diagnosed with asthma in the two to three years following the event, though not as sharp an increase as rescue workers," it added.

    However, the study showed that children from downtown Manhattan were no more likely to be suffering from post-traumatic stress than any other children.

    Officials were conducting a follow up survey to assess whether children were still experiencing worsened respiratory symptoms six years after the attacks.

    The department said further research was needed to assess whether some of the increase in asthma rates was due to better detection of asthma in children with exposure to the World Trade Center or because parents of children with asthma symptoms were more likely to enroll their children in the registry.

    The survey included children under 18 at the time of the attacks who lived or went to school in downtown Manhattan in September 2001, or were visiting when the atrocity occurred.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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