Elmwood Park, NJ, November 7, 2001–Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. has announced that it began performing clinical tests on October 29, 2001 for the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) under a supplemental agreement that calls for blood work, including screening for heavy metal contamination and PCBs, to be performed on up to 11,000 members of the FDNY.
The testing is being performed in response to health concerns that have developed as a result of the FDNY rescue efforts that have been on-going since the World Trade Center disaster on September 11, 2001. This supplemental agreement with Bio-Reference Laboratories is additional to the routine services that Bio-Reference performs for the FDNY. The City is increasing its existing purchase order by nearly $1.6M to provide for this program and all testing should be completed within two to three months. Earlier this year, Bio-Reference announced that it had been awarded a five-year contract to provide clinical laboratory services to the FDNY.
In a related story, the UC Davis School of Medicine is sending researchers to New York next week to help determine if and how dangerous the air at Ground Zero is. A group of delta team scientists will study five weeks work of Ground Zero air to determine how harmful the air around the World Trade Center is. Health experts believe that there potentially harmful particles of asbestos, fiberglass, benzene, dioxin, and Freon rising from the rubble.