911Article Summary:

Heidi Evans, New York Daily News editor, reports on the current total of World Trade Center first responders from 9/11 that currently have cancer due to the high level of carcinogens at ground zero. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 1,140 people have been diagnosed to have “World Trade Center-related cancer” and reports have shown that the numbers are expected to grow. Were the possible health risks of being a first responder on ground zero predictable?

Many first responders spent extra time on ground zero due to the cause and the emotional connection to the event. This caused prolonged exposure to the carcinogens in the air. Current knowledge of chemical radiation and cell growth/mutation could have been warnings that there could be some serious health problems due to the interaction with the environment. As time passes and more individuals are being diagnosed with cancer it becomes more evident that this spike in cancer diagnosis was not random but rather exposure to carcinogens are clearly associated with cancer development. If one would take a step back and look at the situation in it’s entirety rather than being caught up the minor details they would be able to understand the relative correlations. In the end, it is more predictable to detect that these individuals were in danger the moment they stepped on that site.

 

Article  Reference: Evans, Heidi . “1,140 WTC 9/11 responders have cancer — and doctors say that number will grow .” New York Daily News . New York Daily News , 08 Sep 2013. Web. 11 Sep 2013. <http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/1-140-wtc-9-11-responders-cancer-article-1.1449499>.

 

Additional References: “Learn About Cancer.” American Cancer Society . American Cancer Society . Web. 11 Sep 2013. <http://www.cancer.org/cancer/inde&xgt;.

Comments (7)

  1. Teja Reddy

    Reply

    First responders at that time their only aim was to save people who were in need. They were not aware of consequences which they needed to face in future. It was because, never before there was this kind of situation like collapse of building has taken place and also there was also flight
    involved in this case. Since they did not experience this kind of situation ever before, responders were effected since they did not see the initial conditions like pollutants involved in it and usage of safety gear to prevent their harm.

  2. Michael Bradley

    Reply

    In my opinion the dominant information directly shows that this would cause an increase in cancer. The question, then, is were they really deprived of information, or did they just not care? It probably could have reduced the amount of cancer if their first priority was just getting people away from there, or if they had taken precautions (masks and so forth), so I lean towards the latter due to how emotional an event this was.

  3. Marlynn Radford-Brown

    Reply

    First responders’ are aware of the personal sacrifice they make when accepting the duties of their jobs. That being said, these individuals tend to put the lives of others before their own health. Being present in NYC on this fateful day and experiencing first hand what the environment and mind state was at the time, individuals were in shock of the situation and were merely acting on impulse for survival or the survival of others. Judgement was clouded during this event as the entire country perceived its end. There is no way of having all the “information” in this circumstance as American never assumes to be attacked on its own soil. As tragic as this event was, and the fact that we are still experiencing the effects of ground zero, there was no way to be completely prepared for such a tragedy.

  4. Scott Bohmke

    Reply

    This is an excellent article that helps prove the lack of randomness in our world. Most people would look at that and say this is bad and that it is crazy how all of these responder’s got cancer. However, when looking deeply at the circumstances of the event and working with experts who understand the situation, we find it really wasn’t so random at all. Thus, we can view this more as a learning opportunity than as a bad thing. Hopefully policy makers can learn from this example to use experts and set them free in their work in order to better prepare for these events and understand what really is going on, to get accurate information and thus better understand the final outcome.

  5. Shivaan Kulanathan

    Reply

    First responders surely know what are the risks of the job they have, yet still choose to do what they do. The first repsonders, though they may not have known of the the carcinogens in the air, would have known that just going in or near the buildings attacked on 9/11 was putting their lives at risk. All of them go into the job after receiving the information necessary to predict that their job could lead them to a premature death. Whether they knew it would be by cancer, or some other reason, I’m sure all the first responders knew they were putting their life at risk when they went in to help those at the 9/11 attack site, and probably none of them regret their decision.

  6. Kyle Westlake

    Reply

    Many building materials use carcinogenic substances such as formaldehyde, which is used primarily in pressed wood products and fuel burning appliances. When it is burned it is sent into the air which makes it more likely for people to inhale these carcinogenic fumes. With this being stated, it was possible to predict that many of the first responders would get cancer after exposure to ground zero. Basic chemistry would have been the main tool to predict the cancer outbreak, however I don’t think the first responders would have done anything different knowing that they will get cancer down the road.

  7. Nathan Madrid

    Reply

    First responders such as firefighters, police men and other occupations are trained to know what situation they’re in. Of course they knew of the deadly carcinogens in the air, of course they knew what it would eventually lead to, but they did it anyway due to the fact that thousands more lives would be at stake if they didn’t. I don’t think we should stop them from doing this, I think we should give them the option. Train them to know what they are risking, and let them decide what they want to do. I think 99% of them would still have done it knowing what they know today.

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