(AP) - As the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 approaches - The federal government is expected to formally acknowledge that Ground Zero first responders could have gotten cancer as a result of their exposure to toxic dust following the terror attacks.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which determines which cancers are covered under a fund established to care for first responders to the attacks, is expected to make an announcement. Fifty types of cancers are expected be added to a list of illnesses covered by the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
Initially, the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act — the fund established in 2010 and named for police Det. James Zadroga, who died at age 34 after working at Ground Zero — included only a short list of illnesses that qualified for compensation.
Cancer was excluded because of a lack of scientific evidence linking any form of the disease to conditions in the debris pile, even though many of the 50,000 9/11 first responders believe they got cancer - because of their exposure to dust and other substances at Ground Zero.