Statement of 9/11 Health Act Authors on Appointment of 9/11 Science Advisory Panel

Panel Members to Help Evaluate Covering Cancers, Other Conditions Under Zadroga Bill

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, and Peter King, authors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, issued a joint statement, below, on the appointment today of members of the Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee, a panel created under the Zadroga Act to review scientific and medical evidence and make recommendations to 9/11 Health Program Administrator Dr. John Howard on providing coverage for additional 9/11-related health conditions. Last month, the lawmakers wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, asking her to appoint the panel members by the tenth anniversary of the attacks.

Last week, the medical journal The Lancet published a peer-reviewed study by the New York City Fire Department that indicated an elevated risk of melanoma, thyroid and prostate cancer, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma among firefighters who served at ground zero compared to the general population, and an overall increase in cancer among firefighters exposed to toxins at the World Trade Center site compared to firefighters who weren’t exposed to those toxins. In response, the lawmakers yesterday filed a petition with Dr. Howard that requires him to consider within 60 days whether or not to add coverage for cancers under the Zadroga Act – a decision Dr. Howard would make in consultation with the panel members appointed today.

Copies of the lawmakers’ letter to Secretary Sebelius and petition to Dr. Howard can be found below.

“We’re pleased that Secretary Sebelius so quickly set up the Zadroga-mandated panel that evaluates covering new diseases under the law, and that will help consider new research linking cancer with exposure to ground zero toxins,” said Maloney, Nadler, and King.

“Given the severity of the illnesses reported in the Lancet study, we are hopeful that the panel members appointed today will strongly consider adding coverage for cancers under the Zadroga Act. Cancer-stricken 9/11 responders and survivors exposed to the deadly toxins need our help.”

The Zadroga law provides health care for those injured or exposed to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, and reopens the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund to provide economic relief to those harmed by the attacks.

Please click HERE for a brief fact sheet on the health care and compensation provisions of the law.

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