A survey found that workers who were located in the toxic rubble on September 11 were 12 times more likely than normal to have asthma. The study was released Monday, August 27, by the New York City Department of Health, which was based on responses gathered by the World Trade Center Health Registry.
The data show 3.6 percent of the 25,000 rescue and recovery workers in the registry reported developing asthma after working at the site — more than 12 times the expected figure for adults over a similar time period.
The workers who responded immediately to the disaster and stayed to help on scene for more than 90 days had the highest rate of new asthma. Also, workers who used protective respirators on the day of the attack had a lower occurrence of asthma than those that did not.
“These findings reflect the critical importance of getting appropriate respiratory protection to all workers as quickly as possible during a disaster, and making every effort to make sure workers wear them at all times,” stated the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Frieden.
The results of the study also found that 70 percent of the rescue workers from September 11 had lung problems.