Over the past five years, eight firefighters have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. They were among those who responded to the World Trade Center on 9/11 or they were part of the cleanup and recovery following the devastation.
The illness is rare and known to affect women three times more than males. However, the FDNY cases involve only men.
The National Cancer Institute put the incidence rate at 4.3 per 100,000 men – much lower than the eight cases among approximately 11,000 firefighters on the FDNY force on 9/11.
An attorney, who represents nearly 10,000 WTC responders in a class-action suit, said he has tracked “a large cluster” of thyroid cancers among his clients, which include thousands of firefighters and cops.
In total, 125 active and retired firefighters – all Ground Zero responders, have contracted some form of cancer since 2001, according to the Uniformed Firefighters Association.
FDNY officials declined comments.