Updated 09/10/2012 04:25 PM
Zadroga Act To Cover Dozens Of 9/11-Related Cancers
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On the eve of the September 11th attacks, the federal government announced Monday that 50 types of cancer are being added to the list of World Trade Center-related diseases covered by the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health announced Monday that up to 50 types of cancer will be covered under the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
Federal medical researchers have found that the dust at the World Trade Center may have contributed to cancers, as well as respiratory disease, according to Michael Barasch, who along with Noah Kushlefsky is handling thousands of first responders and residents' cases.
Cancer originally was not covered by the $4.3 billion World Trade Center health program created under the act.
September 11th health czar Dr. John Howard said at the time there was not enough evidence linking cancer to the toxic smoke from the World Trade Center.
Advocates say the change is long overdue.
"A lot of these people aren't going to live to see any money from this at all. But hopefully at least they'll get some treatment which will alleviate some of their symptoms and might even save some of them. For a lot of these people though this is a victory that only their families will see the benefit of," Barasch said.
Affected recovery workers and some city residents are eligible for free health treatment.
With more people receiving coverage, payments to individuals could be lower.
Lawmakers have said if cancer was eventually covered, they planned to ask the federal government for more money.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand -- who worked to pass the Zadroga bill -- said in a statement, "Adding these cancers will back up what we already know to be true - our heroes are sick and some are dying from cancer obtained by breathing the toxins at Ground Zero."