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Shannon Weidemann
Shannon Weidemann
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Journalists Battling World Trade Center Illness

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First responders to the World Trade Center in 2001 included fireman, police officers and rescue workers. Journalists also responded to the scene in order to report on the events there. There is a new report out now that journalists and photographers are also suffering from World Trade Center Illness. They were exposed to the same toxic fumes and materials believed to be responsible for a host of health problems.

First responders and construction workers who toiled in the toxic aftermath of 9/11 have been the subject of news reports, political speeches and prize-winning newspaper editorials. But little has been said about the journalists who were exposed to the same conditions.

Handschuh and the NYPPA are advocating for legislation in New York State to extend the deadline for journalists to file 9/11-related workers compensation claims. Last year state lawmakers extended the filing deadline for rescue and recovery workers to August 14, but there is no similar extension for journalists.

When the buildings collapsed materials such as absestos, PCBs, lead, glass, and cement were released into the air. The most common health problem listed by those that were at the site include respiratory problems and post-traumatic stress disorder. Others are reporting becoming ill with cancer since the attacks.