This is perhaps the first clinical study that relates the collapse of the trade center to lung ailments in the rescuers, due to inhalation of dust and pollutants during the rescue operation. The rescuers seem to be suffering a rare type of lung condition which showed up a year after the catastrophe.
Medical specialists from the Fire Department and from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that 13 firefighters and emergency medical service workers were sick with sarcoidosis - a serious illness where the lungs and other organs swell up to form lumps of cells, medically called as granulomas. This condition can be controlled with drugs, yet, in some cases it worsens leading to death.
AdvertisementA year after the collapse, statistics showed the incidence of this illness in 86 cases per 100,000 workers. Doctors also detected 26 cases of sarcoidosis in the five years after 9/11. Although there have been no deaths due to this lung condition, five are permanently disabled and another five are progressively reaching the stage.
Many federal and local studies examining the exposure to dust and pollution had shown that a majority of the recovery workers were down with severe cough and respiratory infection. This study is the most recent peer-reviewed study, and therefore is more authentic. The annual check-ups conducted by Doctors made it possible to draw a comparative study of the workers' health pre and post 9/11.